By Keith Lacey
With his pregnant wife and two toddlers in the courtroom, a Hanmer man tearfully acknowledged Tuesday he needs and will seek help while in jail for a serious alcohol addiction.
Terry Souliere, 28, was sentenced to 15 months in jail and had his driver?s licence suspended for the rest of his life after he pleaded guilty to his fifth drunk driving charge and second count of driving while under suspension.
Souliere was caught around 3 am Sunday with three times the legal amount of alcohol allowed in Canada to drive after two Greater Sudbury Police officers noticed some terrible driving on Hgihway 69 N. in Valley East.
The officers noticed a car weaving badly in its lane and over the centre lane more than once after they initially noticed the same car raising a pile of dust outside a hotel parking lot in Hanmer.
Once they activated their cruiser emergency lights, the driver pulled over and officers noticed obvious signs of impairment.
Souliere was alone behind the wheel and he quickly told officers he had no driver?s licence and shouldn?t have been driving.
Souliere mentioned to the officers they would find out about his terrible criminal record of drunk driving convictions when they did a police check.
He also told them he had an open bottle of liquor and several bottles of beer in the car. Police also found an empty five-gram vial of hash oil following a routine search.
That police check indicated Souliere had his licence suspended for five years in 1999 after he pleaded guilty to two drunk driving charges one month apart in 1999.
Police also discovered this was the fifth time in the past 10 years Souliere had been caught drunk behind the wheel. This was his second conviction for driving while under suspension and without insurance.
Defence counsel Donald Plaunt said his client finally realizes he has ?a serious and significant alcohol problem.?
Souliere is going to lose a good-paying job and will leave his wife alone while he?s in custody to take care of their two young children. His wife is expecting their third child.
Plaunt said considers him a thoughtful, kind man when sober, ?but something happens? when he starts drinking and this has caused irreparable damage in his life.
The evidence is clear that if Souliere doesn?t address his serious alcohol addiction, there?s a strong likelihood he will re-offend and ?someone is going to get killed...?
Plaunt said he and assistant Crown attorney Fran Howe agree Souliere should serve his sentence at the Northern Treatment Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, where he can access counselling.