(Sarnia Observer file photo)

(Sarnia Observer file photo)

A man too drunk to drive was coaxed into a cab but returned to drive away from a bar and landed in jail.

Randy Duff, 57, of Chatham-Kent pleaded guilty Tuesday in Sarnia court to impaired driving and was sentenced to 30 days in jail.

On Sept. 2 at approximately 7 p.m. Duff was at a bar in St. Clair Township when staff called a cab believing he was too drunk to drive.

Duff wouldn’t get in the cab. Police were called to deal with the disturbance.

Officers convinced Duff to take the cab.

Half an hour later police were called again as Duff had driven a vehicle from the bar.

The vehicle was stopped by police. Duff smelled of alcohol and had slurred speech.

Subsequent breath tests showed Duff’s blood-alcohol level was more than twice the legal limit.

Duff had a prior drinking-and-driving conviction 28 years ago.

An elevated fine and driving ban was appropriate despite the aggravating factors, said defence lawyer Karl Toews.

Toews suggested a $2,000 fine rather than the $1,000 minimum.

Since his arrest Duff returned to an alcohol-free life and is taking counseling, said Toews.

Jail time of 30 to 60 days was sought by assistant Crown attorney Aniko Coughlan citing the high blood-alcohol level and Duff ignoring the warning not to drive.

The incident was “very un-me . . . alcohol was making decisions, not me,” said Duff.

Many good people break the law by drinking and driving, said Justice A. Thomas McKay who described Duff’s actions as dangerous.

The 30-day sentence imposed by McKay will be served on weekends so Duff can continue working.

A year’s probation when Duff must take substance-abuse counseling and an 18-month driving ban were also imposed.

Source: The Sarnia Observer