It was her second conviction in recent years

(Postmedia Network file photo)

A Sudbury woman so drunk when police officers located her driving on a New Sudbury street she had an “overwhelming” smell of alcohol on her breath will serve 30 days in jail for her second drinking and driving conviction in recent years.

“After today, you will be able to move ahead, move on, and enjoy your life,” Ontario Court Justice Randall Lalande told Tammy-Lynn Vaillancourt as he issued the jail term along with a two-year licence suspension Wednesday. “Unfortunately, there are aggravating factors here. The alcohol in your system was high. Your judgment was bad: you should not have been operating a motor vehicle that day. The driving was noticeably bad. Fortunately, and perhaps luckily, you were not involved in an accident where damage was involved or injuries were sustained.

“I hope your good efforts continue in the future and you succeed in getting back to the place where you were.”

Vaillancourt, 47, had pleaded guilty to impaired driving concerning the July 11, 2018, incident. She had a prior drinking and driving conviction in 2013. Under the new drinking and driving legislation introduced by the federal government last December, a second such conviction results in a minimum penalty of 30 days consecutive jail.

The court heard that Greater Sudbury Police received a call about an unwanted person on Beatrice Crescent about 9:30 p.m. July 11, 2018, and that a GMC Terrain, with its doors open that had gone into a ditch, dug up material and then drove off.

Officers located the vehicle on Beatrice Crescent making a wide, sweeping turn onto Stonegate Drive without stopping, and driving in the oncoming lane.

The vehicle was stopped and the female driver – Vaillancourt – had an overwhelming smell of alcohol on her breath, noted assistant Crown attorney Anna Spieser. Vaillancourt refused to answer simple questions, but did say she had left her driver’s licence at home.

Officers also learned that another complaint had been received about the GMC Terrain driving all over the road, changing lanes without signalling and had struck a curb.

At police headquarters, Spieser produced Intoxilyzer readings of 230 and 210, almost three times the legal limit of 80 while driving.

Spieser and defence lawyer Robert Beckett suggested the penalties.

Beckett told the court that Vaillancourt had worked in the real estate field for some 24 years.

“Alcohol, unfortunately, has been a problem in her life for a long period of time,” he said.

The lawyer said that after she was charged, Vaillancourt went to detox, began attending Alcoholics Anonymous, is taking medication for alcohol withdrawal and no longer drinks.

“The thought of going to jail has weighed heavily on her,” said Beckett. “She has taken the necessary steps and it does not appear she will be back for a third time.”

Spieser said aggravating factors in the case were the prior drinking and driving conviction, the high Intoxilyzer readings, and the bad driving that occurred on the day of the incident.

Vaillancourt, however, Spieser said, has taken steps to deal with her alcohol issues.

Source: The Sudbury Star