Lively woman with previous conviction promises not to drink and drive again

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When Greater Sudbury Police officers checked out a report of a vehicle in the ditch on Municipal Road 55 about 11:30 p.m. June 18, they found a 2011 Kia Optima with no one inside and the doors locked.

The vehicle, which was registered to a Lively man, was supposed to have an Interlock device – an in-car alcohol breath screening device that prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects a blood-alcohol concentration over a pre-set limit.

It was determined the Kia’s driver had struck a streetlight pole and then drove into the ditch.

Officers then went to the man’s home on Laura Avenue and he told them his wife had just woke him up and said she had been involved in an accident with the vehicle.

The woman – Amanda Martin – was located in the garage drinking from a vodka cooler can. Martin said she was not hurt and admitted to having had a couple of drinks that night.

Martin later produced Intoxilyzer readings of 140, both well over the legal limit of 80 while driving.

On Wednesday, Martin, 36, pleaded guilty to impaired driving and driving while prohibited.

Martin, who had a prior drinking and driving conviction in 2006, received a $2,500 fine and a two-year licence suspension.

“It’s not going to happen again,” Martin told Keast.

The judge told Martin if it was not for the fact the fine and licence suspension were suggested in a joint sentencing submission by the Crown and her lawyer, Michael Venturi, he would have sent her to jail.

“I hope for the community’s sake you are right: it’s not going to happen again,” he said. “There is no such thing as dated when it comes to drinking and driving … I don’t care if you drink. I care if you drink and drive … My sense is there is a serious underlying drinking problem that requires more work.”

The Crown, incidentally, had filed notice it was seeking an increased penalty in the case.

Venturi said that had the case gone to trial “there were significant trial issues” that would have arisen and several possible Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms challenges that could have surfaced due to the initial conversation between officers and Martin in her driveway.

Venturi said Martin’s family will pay a heavy price due to the family home being situated well away from amenities such as schools and stores.

“The sentence not only greatly impacts her, but her own family,” he said.

Venturi added that after she was charged, Martin took part in a John Howard Society substance abuse education and awareness program.

Assistant Crown attorney Anna Spieser, meanwhile, said aggravating factors in the case included that an accident occurred, the fact that Martin had a prior related conviction and she was also prohibited from driving at the time.

Spieser noted, however, that Martin now appears to be on the right track in her life.

As a result of the two guilty pleas, the Crown dropped six other charges Martin was facing.

hcarmichael@postmedia.com

Twitter: @HaroldCarmichae

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