Alex Kurial/Local Journalism Initiative
Peter Wolfe plead guilty to drunk driving after showing up to a Labour Day weekend fireworks show at nearly triple the legal alcohol limit. But his appearance in Sarnia Court Dec. 1 showed he still hasn’t fully processed the gravity of his offense.
Anishinabek Police were closing off Lake Rd. in Kettle Point Sept. 5 ahead of the fireworks when they noticed a vehicle with no license plate driving erratically along the road before cutting across the front lawn of a house.
The driver got out of the grey Buick sedan holding a bottle of whiskey.
The road was full of people who came to see the fireworks, and most lights had been turned off for better visibility during the show.
Police stayed to monitor the vehicle and make sure it didn’t return to the road. During the show the car had several men inside yelling, playing loud music and revving the car engine, which continued after the fireworks ended.
The Buick soon returned to the road and police pursued and pulled it over Wolfe was found driving the car with a male passenger. There was a strong smell of alcohol. Wolfe said he had “a few shots” when asked if he had been drinking, and was arrested. On the drive to Petrolia OPP he informed officers he would fail the breath test since he was “way over the limit.” Wolfe’s prediction was correct, as he blew a .237 blood alcohol rate – nearly triple the legal limit.
Crown attorney Suzanne LaSha asked for a $2,500 fine and one year driving ban. She cited the high readings and many people in the area, but also noted Wolfe’s lack of a criminal record.
But Wolfe did not agree with all the facts of the case. Representing himself, he says “I did not drive over my lawn. I did not drive erratically.” Wolfe also says he took pedestrian safety into account, and claimed there weren’t that many people around anyway.
Justice Deborah Austin says this viewpoint is formed by the massive amount of alcohol in his system that night. “When you have more than double the legal limit of alcohol in your system, what you think you’re doing safely isn’t safe.”
Wolfe did admit he has an alcohol problem, and says he is seeking treatment so he can be a better role model for his family members. Austin was pleased with his awareness.
Austin reduced Wolfe’s fine to $1,800 and put him on probation until he completes addiction treatment.
“Thankfully, nothing bad happened,” she said. “Hopefully we’ll never see you in this kind of situation again.”