Most people would assume a lawyer would know a thing or two about drinking and driving in Canada. After all, lawyers are the people who use impaired driving laws to defend or prosecute offenders, and they know all too well the penalties involved should someone they are working with be dealt an impaired driving charge.
But knowing Ontario’s impaired driving penalties didn’t stop a personal injury lawyer from drinking and driving not once, but twice, in one year. 9 months ago, Toronto lawyer Shen Subramaniam had walked away from a drunk driving arrest with nothing but a dangerous driving charge to show for it. His second impaired driving charge came after police followed him from a casino and arrested him after he hit a cement pillar outside of his home.
When Subramaniam submitted to a breath test, his blood alcohol concentration (BAC) was almost 3 times the legal limit of .08. This time around he decided to plead guilty to impaired driving and driving while suspended, and was sentenced to 12 months probation and $1,500 in fines.
While lawyers are required to uphold the law, a police officer has the job of enforcing it. That’s why it’s disturbing to hear that a now-retired Ontario police sergeant was found guilty of impaired driving recently. He had been drinking at the Ottawa Police Association lounge and was arrested after he swerved onto the shoulder of a road and drove through stop signs. He’s been found guilty of driving with a blood-alcohol level one-and-a-half times the legal limit, will receive $1,000 in fines, and will not be able to drive for one year.
These examples just go to show, people who are considered leaders of the community can make the choice to drink and drive too. Hopefully for these men it will be considered a lesson learned and they’ll stick to the right side of the bench from now on.