Ministry of Transport workers are particularly vulnerable and must be protected from reckless drivers, the Crown argued, demanding five years in prison against a drunk driver who caused the death of one of them, in addition to injuring some six others.
” [Les victimes] were vulnerable people who were only doing their job, they put their safety, and even their life at risk in the exercise of their functions, ”launched the Crown prosecutor Me Anik Archambault, this Wednesday at the courthouse of Montreal .
Me Archambault thus expressed himself in the case of Vincent Lemay, a 41-year-old man who had made the wrong decision to take the wheel after having drunk too much in a bar, in February 2018. However, if he believed he had “a good alcohol tolerance ”, he realized far too late that this was not the case.
At the Dorval roundabout on Highway 20, he did not slow down in front of a construction site. And when a driver with no complaints tried to change lanes in front of her, a collision occurred, throwing one of the vehicles at the workers. One of them, Stéphane Lebel, died, while six others were injured. The other driver was also injured.
“In the seconds preceding the collision, he accelerated,” recalled Me Archambault. He had not adapted his behavior despite the presence of the construction site and despite the victims being in a particularly vulnerable situation. “
Tests subsequently determined that Lemay had an alcohol level more than twice the legal limit.
During pleadings on the sentence yesterday, Lemay apologized for his irresponsibility. Being a construction worker himself, he said he was aware of the consequences of his crime.
“I feel terrible, I really made a decision that night,” he said. I would like to take the place of the victims. I have worked on highways, I am aware of the dangers, we are all family men. I assume 100%. “
It is that just before, victims and relatives of the deceased gave vibrant testimonies.
“All the victims were unlucky to be in the wrong place at the wrong time,” the deceased’s sister said in a letter read to the court.
Mr. Lebel’s mother, for her part, recalled the pain of losing a son, which left a void in his life.
“I could never forget the phone call in the middle of the night to announce the death to me,” she wrote in a letter. [Lemay] was the executioner of my son and my grandchildren. “
For the Crown, the court must send a strong message that drink driving is not tolerated. Because even if this scourge is not new, too many people still do not understand the danger of driving drunk.
“Mr. and Mrs. Everyone must know that if they cause death while under the influence, they will be punished, even if they have a clean record and have always behaved honestly citizens, ”she pleaded, citing judgments in similar cases.
Me Archambault also deplored that years of reporting on this subject, advertising campaigns and meetings in schools have still not succeeded in stemming the scourge.
“There is always someone who will cause the irreparable,” she said.
But if it calls for 5 years of incarceration and 5 years of prohibition from driving, the defense believes that the suggestion is too high.
Speaking of “accident” even if it is an avoidable collision and caused by the irresponsibility of his client who is the only person responsible, he affirmed that Lemay was not the only one to blame.
“The signage was not adequate, the driver [qui changeait de voie] has a share of responsibility ”, pleaded Me Richard Dubé to try to mitigate the responsibility of his client, even if it is him, and him alone, who was declared guilty.
Thus, the lawyer suggests a sentence of 3 years of detention, especially since his client has no criminal history.
“People have to understand that this is not nothing for Mr. Lemay,” he said. This is no small feat for a good citizen. “
Judge Pierre Dupras will deliver his decision in September.