Reoffending driver Ludovic Ruest-Labrie was sentenced Monday morning to six years in prison for causing the death of his best friend Jesse Roberge on the night of October 15-16, 2021, after a drunken night out at a bar in Lévis.
• Also read: Repeat drunk driver: Responsible for the death of his best friend
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Ruest-Labrie and Jesse Roberge are “like brothers”. One was not without the other. But on the evening of the tragedy, the defendant sealed his friend’s fate by choosing to drive; and this despite the fact that friends had offered them a ride earlier in the evening; and although Ruest-Labrie admitted to having considered calling a cab or his father before getting behind the wheel.
This recklessness and the fact that he is a repeat offender eventually earned him a six-year sentence. Judge Bernard Lemieux insisted the defendant made a “conscious and thoughtful” decision to drive the car to explain his sentence.
“The criminal liability of the defendant is extensive and substantial. His level of moral responsibility is high,” the judge said, but added that he believed in the defendant’s rehabilitation. “The punishment must take this into account.”
pangs of conscience
In tears as he read Judge Bernard Lemieux’s decision on Monday morning, Ludovic Ruest-Labrie seemed wracked with the regret that has weighed on him since that fateful evening.
The prepared prejudice report mentions this regret and specifies that the young man “cannot forgive himself.”
In the room, both the victim’s and the accused’s loved ones were upset to see him dwindle for the 49 months he had left to serve. At the time of the sentencing hearing, Jesse Roberge’s father, Serge, even mentioned having forgiven the defendant.
“Take the lead and I’ll be there if you need it,” Mr. Roberge had promised, adding that the young man owed society, but not him.
Ludovic Ruest-Labrie’s father also turned to the court and asked the judge to punish him, but not to destroy him. “We have to recover what’s left of him,” pleaded Christian Labrie.
recall of facts
The tragedy happened on President-Kennedy Road in the early morning of October 16, 2021. Ludovic Ruest-Labrie, who was subject to “zero tolerance” and had an alcohol interlock in his car due to a first conviction in 2017, was driving his friend Jesse Roberge’s vehicle.
As they passed the Délice restaurant, where they had spent the evening, Ruest-Labrie lost control of the vehicle and crashed violently into an electricity pole in the center of the median. The impact occurred on the passenger side and gave the victim no chance.
The first witnesses to arrive near the vehicle were given only time by the victim to say that his name was Jesse and that he “didn’t feel”.[ait] nothing more” before losing consciousness. CPR maneuvers proved insufficient to save him.
Ruest-Labrie will initially tell police he only had four beers, but evidence will show the duo’s evening at Délice was very drunk. Analysis of blood samples revealed that the defendant had more than three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood.
More details to come