Petrolia accident leads to two month jail sentence

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Alex Kurial/Local Journalism Initiative

A Petrolia man hoped he’d escape jail after a fourth drunk driving conviction.
But Justice Krista Leszczynski decided Lewis Boyd wasn’t getting the anti drinking and driving message and needed some convincing.

“You are before the court for the fourth time… which indicates to me that you have not yet effectively received the message that you cannot drink to the point of impairment and get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle,” says Leszczynski.

Boyd’s latest charge came after a March accident in Petrolia last year where Boyd blew through a stop sign on Robert Street and hit a truck. “Go ahead and arrest me, I know I’m impaired,” Boyd said to police when they arrived, adding his last drink was “five minutes ago.”

Boyd tested a .248 on the blood alcohol test at the Petrolia OPP station. His licence had a condition that he have no alcohol while driving.

Crown Attorney Suzanne LaSha took the step of asking for a jail sentence due to Boyd’s status as a repeat offender. His previous convictions for the same offence were in 1984, 1993 and 2003. A multi-year driving ban was also requested.

Boyd plead guilty in February and a pre-sentence report was written for the April 20 sentencing. Leszczynski wasn’t impressed with the findings.

“Although you have some insights with respect to the poor choices that you made on this particular occasion and in the past, there still seems to be a lack of insight with respect to the issue you may have in your use of alcohol,” she says. “What is positive however is that you are amenable to receiving treatment.”

Boyd made his final pitch to stay a free man. “I do not think jail time is appropriate at all especially since I am working again,” he says in the courtroom. Boyd, representing himself, appeared in person since jail time was on the table.

“What happened that day was a very bad choice, there’s no excuse for it, none whatsoever… I received some very bad news about a lifelong friend that day and just made a very bad decision,” says Boyd. “I’m truly sorry for it and I’m willing to accept whatever you think is appropriate.”

Leszczynski ordered Boyd across the street to Sarnia Jail for two months. On his release Boyd is banned from driving for three years. He’ll also be on probation for 12 months.
where he’ll take counselling for alcohol abuse.

Boyd appeared surprised at his sudden fate. “Am I going to jail now or can I still go to work?” he asked Leszczynski after she finished reading his punishment.

“You’re going to jail sir. Today,” she responded. “And you will serve a 60 day sentence.”