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Charlottetown man jailed after vehicle found on sidewalk while he was drunk


A Charlottetown man whose vehicle was pulled up on a sidewalk with the engine running while he was drunk was sentenced recently to seven days in jail.

Rejean Joseph Cournoyer, 48, appeared before Chief Judge Nancy Orr in provincial court in Charlottetown where he pleaded guilty to drunk driving.

Reading from an agreed statement of facts, Crown attorney Nathan Beck told the court that on June 28 at around 1:20 p.m., the RCMP responded to a report of a possible impaired driver.

They found Cournoyer’s vehicle pulled up onto a sidewalk where it was still in drive and the engine was running.

Beck said the police found a large vodka bottle on the passenger-side floor and Cournoyer’s foot was on the brake.

Cournoyer later provided breathalyzer samples that were around three times the legal limit.

Defence lawyer Thane MacEachern told the court Cournoyer has worked at the Confederation Centre of the Arts after moving to Charlottetown several years ago, but because of COVID-19 he hasn’t had work.

That has been somewhat of a trigger and Cournoyer started drinking heavily, MacEachern said.

The court heard Cournoyer drank a lot the night before the incident and it wasn’t his intention to drink and drive.

MacEachern said Cournoyer has gone through detox along with the transition program and hasn’t had a drink since his arrest.

Along with the jail time, Cournoyer must pay a $2,000 fine and a $600 victim surcharge.

He is also banned from driving for one year.

After hearing his sentence, Cournoyer addressed the court to say he knows driving is a privilege, not a right, and he abused that privilege.

“I sincerely apologize to the people of P.E.I.,” he said.

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