Man says he “only had five beers”, drives into Wendy’s sign

·2 min read

A youthful offender was sentenced in Sarnia Court after causing commotion at a fast food restaurant this summer.

Justin McDonald, 19, had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his body on the night of June 7 when he jumped the curb at the Wendy’s on London Rd. He smashed into the drive-thru sign before taking off.

While police were investigating surveillance video at the Wendy’s another call came in about a man drinking beer in his truck at Ferry Dock Hill. Police arrived and found a heavily intoxicated McDonald in the truck. There was a strong smell of alcohol, and McDonald needed help standing upright when asked to step out of the vehicle.

McDonald claimed he “only had five beers,” and was immediately arrested. A breathalyzer test at the police station gave a .160 reading, two times the limit.

The Crown asked for a $2,000 fine and one year driving ban at McDonald's Oct. 19 sentencing. Several aggravating factors were noted, including the collision, open alcohol and high BAC.

“I have stopped myself from drinking a lot since then, it’s something I’m dealing with. I understand how messed up what I did was,” says McDonald, who represented himself.

“I never thought I would do something like that… that’s not my natural state of being. I drank too much alcohol and I lost control of my care. It was a bad night.”

Justice Deborah Austin says McDonald seems to have learned a lesson, but that he “really didn’t have an appreciation of the risk you posed to the public when you drank so much and then got behind the wheel of a car.”

“Thank God nobody was walking by and you didn’t cause any greater harm and property damage,” Austin says of the collision at the Wendy’s.

Austin added $600 to the Crown’s suggested fine for a total of $2,600. McDonald is banned from driving for a year, but can apply for the ignition interlock program after three months.

Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent