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Man suspected of drinking and driving refuses Breathalyzer

Few people set out to cause trouble, or put themselves and others in danger. Unfortunately, the consumption of alcohol can set otherwise well intentioned people on the road to trouble. Such may have been the case for one man arrested for drinking and driving in northern Ontario this summer.

Early in the morning of July 16, 2016, Greater Sudbury Police responded to a call from a downtown bar doorman who was concerned an apparently inebriated patron was about to drive his car. The police arrived in time to see the suspect leave the scene in his car, and attempted to pull him over after following him a short distance. The suspect did not respond to the lights on the cruiser, but did stop after allegedly striking a curb.

The officers approached the vehicle and requested a breath sample after smelling what they believed to be alcohol on the driver's breath. The driver, a 35-year-old man, was arrested and charged with impaired driving, obstructing a police officer and refusing to give a breath sample. When in court, the man pleaded guilty to the charge of refusing to give a breath sample, which led to the other charges being dropped. He was fined $1,500 and had his licence suspended for a year. Having previously failed a breath test after a drinking and driving arrest in 2004, the judge also handed down a nine-month probation, stipulating the man must refrain from drinking alcohol and must enroll in a counseling program.

Impaired driving is a serious crime, one generally brought on by a temporary lapse in good judgment. Any person accused of drinking and driving in Ontario should seek legal counsel. A lawyer who works in the field of criminal defence may be able to help minimize the severity of the outcome.

Source: thesudburystar.com, "Sudbury driver refuses breath sample request", Harold Carmichael, Oct. 9, 2016

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