Sudbury man's decision to drive after drinking 'foolish'

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Early on April 14, Mathieu Elliot was at a friend’s, had some drinks and then walked home.

But about 5:30 a.m., he got a call from a female friend in distress seeking his help. He got into a family vehicle and sped west on Lasalle Boulevard at a high rate of speed.

Elliot’s driving caught the attention of patrolling Greater Sudbury Police officers who caught up to him and pulled him over.

Elliot indicated he had smoked marijuana three to four hours earlier and a field sobriety test was conducted a short time later. Elliot passed.

Officers, though, noticed he had an odour of alcohol on his breath. Elliot, 20, failed a Roadside breath test and later produced Intoxilyzer readings above the limit of 80 while driving.

In Sudbury court, Elliot pleaded guilty to impaired driving. He was fined $1,500 and had his driver’s licence suspended for one year.

“What’s important here Mathieu is that you learn from this experience,” Ontario Court Justice John Keast told the young man. “We are having very serious problems in this country dealing with drinking and driving. Now, we’re having a bigger issue in drugs …

“We very rarely see young people in court for drinking and driving. It’s because of the programs in high school, colleges. We find there is a deterrent effect among youth. Very few young people come in here. We start seeing them in their 30s … You can’t change what happened. You’re lucky. A high rate of speed. Nothing happened to you or a member of the public.”

Defence lawyer Rejean Parise told the court that after walking home, Elliott got a frantic phone call.

“A young lady was in distress and needed help,” said the lawyer. “He made the foolish decision to get in a vehicle and an accelerated rate of speed. That was when he was stopped.”

hcarmichael@postmedia.com
Twitter: @HaroldCarmichae