HUNTSVILLE - A Huntsville man will spend some time in jail after he was found guilty of driving with a blood-alcohol content more than three-and-a-half times the legal limit.
Donald John McIndoo pleaded guilty in Huntsville criminal court last Wednesday to a charge of impaired driving. The man, who turned 35 on Sunday, was arrested by police on May 12 following a complaint from employees at a fast-food restaurant.
According to information presented by Crown attorney Ted Carlton, a man entered the drive-through order section of the restaurant at 7:06 p.m. that day and placed his order. The employee noted that during the placing of the order and the subsequent pickup of the food that the man had slurred speech and slow motor skills.
The restaurant staff contacted police about the driver and soon after, Huntsville OPP officers were able to locate the accused man’s car, which they reported as “drifting in its lane.”
Police stopped the vehicle at 7:16 p.m. and began questioning the driver – later identified as McIndoo – about his condition. The officers noted that McIndoo had a strong odour of alcohol emanating from his person and exhibited slurred speech and poor motor skills. They reported that McIndoo had difficulty exiting his vehicle and even struck himself with the driver’s door while trying to get out. The accused man was taken to the Huntsville OPP detachment, where 45 minutes after his arrest, he recorded blood-alcohol levels of 290 and 300 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. The legal limit is 80 milligrams.
The court was told that McIndoo had a previous drunk-driving offence some 10 years ago.
Defence lawyer Peter Ward told the court that his client is “a bit of a loner,” and owns his own home in the Huntsville area. McIndoo, according to ward, has been employed as a welder for more than 14 years and his employer deemed him to be a key member of the company’s staff.
McIndoo has been to addictions counselling and has been attending Alcoholics Anonymous meetings since his arrest. Ward said his client was concerned that if he were to spend time in custody that it would impact his ability to work and to make his mortgage payments.
“I invite the court to accept a joint submission of 45 days, to be served intermittently, followed by a period of probation for 12 months … and a driving prohibition of three years,” Ward told the court.
McIndoo told Judge JD Evans that alcohol is something that he has had problems with for a long time. “I have been trying to do better,” he said.
Judge Evans said that the readings clearly showed that McIndoo was a danger to himself and anyone who happened to be on the highway at the same time.
The judge agreed with the joint submission, and ordered McIndoo to serve 45 days on weekends, along with placing him on probation for one year.