Plympton-Wyoming man fined for open liquor

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Alex Kurial/Local Journalism Initiative

A Plympton-Wyoming man is lighter in the pocketbook after a case of late-night driving.

Conner Weed, 26, plead guilty to a careless driving charge in Sarnia Court Feb. 9. Justice Krista Leszczynski assessed Weed with a $1,500 fine. He won’t receive any driving ban.

It was just after midnight Oct. 25 last year when OPP were patrolling Petrolia Line looking for suspicious vehicles that had recently fled a farm property. As an officer went eastbound past Gypsie Flats Road, he saw a pickup truck begin to leave the laneway of a farm before reversing back onto the property.

The officer turned around to investigate and found the truck parked near some bushes with two men inside. The passenger said the property was his family farm. But the driver – Weed – had an odor of alcohol on him and open bottles of Smirnoff Vodka and Bacardi Rum in the cab. This served as grounds for an arrest.

Defense lawyer Nick Cake says his client did act carelessly, but says Weed wasn’t up to anything suspicious. “He was doing some farm work with a friend… and they were going to a different field to tend to some equipment,” says Cake.

Careless driving fines range from $400 to $2,000. Leszczynski accepted the joint position that a penalty at the higher end of the scale was called for.

“This is an elevated fine. It recognizes not only that you were operating a motor vehicle carelessly… but also recognizes that at the time you had open alcohol in the vehicle,” says Leszczynski.