Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia drunk driver nabbed after drive-thru employee calls police

A Nova Scotia man arrested for impaired driving earlier this year after a fast food drive-thru employee noticed he was inebriated won't be going to jail, even though he killed a man a decade ago while drunk behind the wheel.

Manuel (Manny) Joseph Jesso won't be going to jail, despite history of drunk driving

After noticing that Manuel (Manny) Joseph Jesso was having difficulty holding his debit card, a fast food drive-thru worker called police. (Shutterstock)

A Nova Scotia man arrested for impaired driving earlier this year after a fast food drive-thru employee noticed he was inebriated won't be going to jail, even though he killed a man a decade ago while drunk behind the wheel.

Manuel (Manny) Joseph Jesso, 33, was handed a 2½-year probation sentence and a five-year driving ban Monday by Bridgewater provincial court Judge Paul Scovil.

On Feb. 21, a fast food worker in the Bridgewater area noticed Jesso was having trouble holding his debit card, according to the judge's written decision. The worker called police, who arrested Jesso and determined his blood-alcohol level was almost three times the legal limit.

The prosecution asked for a six-month jail sentence, but Scovil granted a "curative treatment discharge," which occurs when an individual needs treatment for alcohol addiction and it's in the public interest to grant the discharge.

'Reasonable question'

Scovil noted that with Jesso's history of drunk driving convictions, people might question the logic behind granting the discharge.

"It is a reasonable question," said Scovil. "The answer lies in considering whether, for this individual, a further custodial period will deter the behaviour of drinking and driving an automobile or whether a rehabilitated Mr. Jesso will provide a larger measure of safeguard against drunk driving."

Scovil said Jesso has been going to addictions counselling and is motivated to stay away from alcohol so he doesn't end up going back to prison or lose his job as a forklift operator with Michelin in Bridgewater.

Past criminal record

Jesso has a history of drunk driving and was found guilty in two separate August 2005 incidents.

In one case, he pleaded guilty to impaired driving causing death after Robert Donaghy, 77, died when Jesso clipped his vehicle on Highway 63 in Alberta, according to a report by Fort McMurray Today newspaper. He served a three-year prison sentence.

Jesso was also found guilty of mischief in 2010.

As part of Monday's sentence for his latest offence, Jesso must perform 50 hours of community service and pay a victim surcharge of $100. He must also stay away from alcohol.