A speeding drunk driver was fined $1,400 in Sarnia court on Wednesday based on a 20-year-old criminal record.

The driver, 54, of Lambton Shores pleaded guilty to the June 9, 2014 charge of impaired driving.

Court was told that on June 9 at 11:40 p.m. an OPP officer spotted the driver driving through two stop signs and accelerating to 116 kilometres per hour in an 80-kilometre zone.

The driver, who had slurred speech and bloodshot eyes, told police his last drink had been in the afternoon.

An argument with his wife had prompted him to leave the home, said defence lawyer Alicia Siebert.

People turn to alcohol to deal with stress, although it is not the best way, but when it is combined with driving it is wrong on all counts, said Justice Mark Hornblower.

A breath test showed that the driver blood-alcohol level was just below 1.25 times the legal limit.

He had two prior convictions for similar offences, but the last one was 20 years ago, so no notice to seek an increased penalty was presented to the court. Such notices can result in mandatory jail sentences.

Despite a notice not being presented, the prior convictions warranted an increased fine, said assistant Crown attorney Nicole Stoner.

The minimum fine is $1,000.

Hornblower imposed the $1,400 fine and a one-year driving ban.

Obtained from the Observer.ca