Drunk driver nearly hits worker, plows through construction in Petrolia


Blake Ellis/Local Journalism Initiative

A drunk driver careened through a road construction site nearly hitting a worker before ending up on the green at the Kingwell Glen Golf Club in Petrolia in June led to the loss of a 52 year-old Sarnia man’s driving privileges for a year.

Jack Laanstra was also been fined $2,000 in Sarnia court on March 28.

A commercial van ignored a street closure sign and drove through a road construction site on Dufferin Avenue. He nearly hit a construction worker before going through a construction fence and entering the Kingswell Glen golf course.

He then turned around and returned to the construction site.

Police saw the van parked at a Grove Street home where two individuals were drinking beer on the front porch. The driver was inside going to the washroom. 

Jack Laanstra told police he had only drank one beer. There was an odour of alcohol on his breath. He failed a breathalyzer test. He was taken back to the Petrolia OPP Detachment where it was found he had double the legal blood-alcohol limit.

He plead guilty to impaired driving. This was a “rock bottom type of incident” for Laanstra, said Defence Lawyer Nick Cake. He now identifies himself as an alcoholic since being charged and has gotten help. He now rarely drinks.

Laanstra apologized, saying he had made some poor choices. “This was likely more good luck than good management, “ said Justice Joe Wilson, referring to why there hadn’t been more mishaps.                                                                                                                                                                   

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