The on-and-off drunk driving trial of a Sudbury woman who won the title of Canada’s Worst Driver 2009 came to a screeching halt Tuesday.
Angelina Marcantognini, 33, who was fighting a charge of having more than the legal allowable level of alcohol in her blood while driving had that plea struck.
She then pleaded guilty to the charge.
Ontario Court Justice Randall Lalande accepted a joint submission from Marcantognini’s lawyer Michael Venturi and the Crown that she be fined $1,200 and have her licence suspended for one year.
The charge was laid June 4, 2013. According to Greater Sudbury Police, just after midnight that day, officers received a complaint about a vehicle in the Regent Street area.
They located a 2002 Nissan Xterra and found the female driver had been drinking. Breath tests at police headquarters later determined she was at twice the legal limit.
On Dec. 19, Lalande rejected Marcantognini’s Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms application to quash her charge.
“I feel Miss Marcantognini was offered a reasonable opportunity to speak to counsel of choice,” concluded Lalande, as he dismissed the Section 10B Charter application filed by Venturi.
The court heard Marcantognini was unsuccessful contacting the first two of three lawyers she asked an officer to call for her, but did reach the third. She spent about eight minutes talking to him privately.
Lalande said her comment to a breath technician a short time later that “the lawyer guy told me not to speak to you and not trust anybody” indicated she had been given legal advice, even if she did not like the conversation she had with him or his demeanor.
The judge also said viewing the videotape of conversations breath technician Const. Adam Groleau and arresting officer Const. Adam Kidder had with Marcantognini, as well as hearing their testimony, he found both officers acted properly.
“There is no evidence (Kidder) hurried her along to get her to speak to another name on the list,” he said.
Lalande added that viewing Marcantognini’s behaviour on the videotapes, he saw slurred speech, a lack of composure, occasional aggressive behaviour, and even bouts of crying and whimpering.
He said these are the “classic and telling signs of obvious and classic impairment.”
Source: The Sudbury Star