BY KEITH LACEY
A Sudbury man who broke his neck after smashing his truck while driving drunk last September felt a little more pain Monday at the Sudbury courthouse.
William Racicot, 52, pleaded guilty to impaired driving and was fined $1,000. He also had his driverÂ?s license suspended for 15 months by Justice William Fitzgerald of the Ontario Court of Justice.
Assistant Crown Attorney Fran Howe told the court a woman observed Racicot and a buddy leaving the parking lot of a Wahnapitai drinking establishment on Sept. 8.
The woman noticed the driver in the truck ahead of her was weaving and going in and out of the proper lane.
She was going to use her cell phone to call police when the woman noticed the truck had left the road and entered a ditch.
She attended the scene and found the driver to be conscious and the passenger to be unconscious.
Emergency personnel arrived and notified police both men appeared to be intoxicated inside the vehicle.
Racicot and the passenger were transported to hospital in Sudbury. When a doctor said Racicot was in no shape to provide breath samples, police presented a warrant to gather two samples of blood that they retrieved at the hospital, said Howe.
Scientific tests indicated Racicot had at least three times the legal amount of alcohol in his blood system at the time the accident occurred, said Howe.
Luckily the passenger suffered only minor injuries and was able to report to work two days later, said Howe.
Defence counsel Ted Conroy said because the Â?exceedingly high readingsÂ? the court must impose a sentence in excess of the minimum $600 fine and one-year license suspension.
Considering Racicot has no previous record and has never been in trouble before, a large fine and suspension of driving privileges for 15 months would be appropriate, said Conroy.
His client suffered a broken neck and hasnÂ?t worked a day since the accident and has had to undergo a long recovery process since this incident nine months ago, said Conroy.
RacicotÂ?s vehicle was destroyed, which cost him $10,000 and his insurance rates are sure to go sky high following this conviction, said Conroy.
Racicot also has to travel a long distance to get to work and heÂ?s going to have to find a way to get to and from work for the next 15 months, he said.
Howe said the $1,000 fine and extended license suspension is called for as Racicot was obviously severely intoxicated and it was only through good luck he or the passenger werenÂ?t more seriously injured or killed.