Serial drunk driver heading to jail

Dennis Lawlor, who was caught drunk driving three times in the past year, was sentenced in court on Thursday.

Admits 'he has a big problem with alcohol'

Emergency responders spent two hours pulling Dennis Lawlor out of this truck's cab. (CBC)

A Paradise man who caused three accidents in the past year while driving drunk has been sentenced to 90 days in jail, to be served on weekends.

Dennis Lawlor, 39, will also lose his licence for five years. He did receive credit for time served since May. 

In less than 12 months, Lawlor was charged with three counts of drunk driving after causing three separate accidents.

About a year ago, he overturned his dump truck on a highway on-ramp.

Rescuers spent two hours pulling Lawlor out of the truck cab. He suffered broken ribs and a punctured lung.

The court was told Lawlor had more than three times' the legal limit of alcohol in his system at the time.

But that crash didn't prevent him from doing it again.

Last September, Lawlor ran into a truck outside a bar in Mount Pearl. He later hit one of the pumps at a gas station in St. John's. When caught, he complained of chest pains and was taken to hospital.

Lawlor refused to provide a breath sample. But for medical purposes he had to have a blood test. Police obtained a warrant and had the blood tested for alcohol. It determined Lawlor was about four times over the legal limit.

And about two months ago, Lawlor rammed his truck into the back of another truck on Topsail Road in Paradise. This time he was two-and-a-half times over the legal limit.

Lawlor told the court he has a big problem with alcohol, adding he is getting help and wants to get into rehab.

"It is a problem I have to overcome ... this is not a life," he said.

Because all three offences were dealt with during the same court date, Lawlor was sentenced as if he had committed two crimes instead of three.

He will also be on probation for a year.