tp-nb-dieppe-jean-leblanc

Dieppe Mayor Jean LeBlanc's admission that he pleaded guilty to refusing to take a breathalyzer test is a sign of progress, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving. ((CBC))

Dieppe Mayor Jean LeBlanc's admission that he was caught for impaired driving earlier this year is a sign of progress, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving in Atlantic Canada.

LeBlanc admitted on Wednesday that he pleaded guilty to refusing to take a breathalyzer after being stopped by the RCMP on Sept. 20.

He took responsibility for the mistake, telling reporters in a prepared statement that "drinking and driving is unacceptable and I feel horrible that I did this. I'm human and I make mistakes, but this is against all that I believe in."

Chris Nagle, the Atlantic director of MADD Canada, said it is always disappointing when someone in a high position faces such charges.

"The good that I take away from this is you know he was not trying to abuse his position, to evade responsibility," Nagle said.

"He's taken full responsibility. He will be paying the fine. He will also have his licence suspended."

The Dieppe mayor entered the guilty plea in provincial court in Moncton on Wednesday and was fined $1,200. LeBlanc's licence has also been suspended for a year.

Nagle said it's a good reminder that whether a person is a mayor or a regular citizen they will be held accountable for drinking and driving.

"If we turn the clock back say 10 or 15 years ago who's to know whether he ever would have heard about these kinds of charges at all," Nagle said.

"I'm sure that in the past, not just in Dieppe or Moncton, but all across Canada these kind of things used to be swept under the rug but now that's not happening."

Nagle launched MADD Canada's annual red ribbon campaign this week.

The ribbons are a reminder that there are alternatives to driving after a person has had a drink or two.

A fact that Nagle said is particularly important heading into the holidays.