Drunk mom pulled over in Wakefield, Quebec with three kids in car

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by Trevor Greenway on October 21, 2010

MRC des Collines police nabbed a convicted drunk driver who had one of her three children blow into the mouthpiece of her interlock anti-ignition system to keep her on the road.

Nicole Gagnon, 43, of Deleage, just east of Maniwaki, pleaded guilty to drunk driving last year and was required to install the zero-tolerance device in her vehicle. Apparently, Gagnon was driving home from Wakefield on the afternoon of Oct. 17 when a flat tire at the top of Valley Drive forced her to stop.

Police, meanwhile, received a call from her 19-year-old son who was at home. He told police that Gagnon was at a Wakefield parking lot with a flat tire and he believed his mother was impaired.

“He called us and said, ‘I am sure she is impaired, with my three brothers and sisters. Can you check on her?’” said MRC spokesperson Martin Fournel.

Police found Gagnon parked at the soccer field. She took a breathalyzer test, which indicated she was more than three times over the legal blood alcohol limit of .08. They also found an open bottle on the front seat.

Officers also noticed the ignition interlock system, its use designed to prevent drinking drivers from getting behind the wheel. The blow test must be totally alcohol free, but in Gagnon’s case police suspected she had used one of her children to avoid failing, Fournel said.

“The only persons in the vehicle who didn’t drink alcohol were the kids,” said Fournel, referring to the two boys, eight and 10, respectively, and a five-year-old girl.

“What it’s telling us is that she used the kids to blow in the machine.”

Fournel said there is no way Gagnon could have tested before she drank and kept the car running, as the device requires drivers to blow, about every 25 minutes while on the road, as a fail safe.

Gagnon was arrested about a year ago on Hwy 105 for driving under the influence and she had the children in the car on that occasion. She lost her license for a year, but because she was a first-time offender she was permitted to drive with the ignition interlock system installed.

Gagnon appeared in court Oct. 19, where she pleaded guilty to DUI. She will spend six months behind bars and will not be permitted to drive a vehicle for two years. Gagnon must also take a rehabilitation course.