Xanax and driving don’t mix

·2 min read

Garbage bins were bowled up and down Wellington St. as a grey Cadillac swerved through the various lanes and front lawns of the Sarnia street.

Nathan Speed, 22, was under the influence of Xanex during the Sept. 24 incident. A baggie full of the anxiety-easing pills were found in the vehicle when it finally came to rest between the road and a lawn. Speed was found next to the car, incoherent and unable to stand up.

“It was only 9:22 in the morning when you were in this condition,” says Justice Krista Leszczynski as she reviewed the facts of the case Mar. 10.

“You have misused and abused a serious drug, and it caused you to act in a manner in which you put your life at risk and that of others,” says Leszczynski.

“He’s very remorseful for the situation, but he’s also very grateful,” says Defence Lawyer Nick Cake. He says the lack of injuries means “today we’ll be arguing about dollars and cents, rather than years in jail.”

Speed's lawyer asked for a $1,500 fine saying “One can have an incident such as this… and not have a problem with controlling the manner in which they use substances,” says Cake. “One mistake does not make you an addict.”

Leszczynski issued the $1,500 fine and put Speed on one year probation. “I consider it an important part of the system to assist you so that we don’t see you back before this court again,” she says.

Speed will take substance abuse counselling during probation. He’s also banned from driving for a year.

“I’d just like to apologize for wasting everyone’s time on this. I hope you guys never ever have to hear about me again,” says Speed.

Alex Kurial, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Independent