LISTEN: Suspected drunk driver was just dodging potholes


A Ste. Adele man who was stopped on suspicion of drunk driving a couple of months ago when he was actually dodging potholes on Route 117, told his story to CJAD 800's Elias Makos on Tuesday morning.

At around 11 p.m. on the evening of April 24, Tom Fermanian locked up the business he owns, the Pine Cinema, and headed down Ste. Adele Blvd. — aka Route 117 — to fill up at a gas station.

The stretch of road he was on was especially treacherous. "It looked like Sarajevo, maybe 15 years ago," Fermanian said. "So I turned my car into a snake, and I slithered through all over the place, trying to avoid potholes, so I'd have a car left."

A Sûreté du Québec officer noticed he was zigagging, and caught up with him as he was setting in at the gas station to fill up.

"I knew what this was about," Fermanian said. "So I walk right away to the officer, I tell him, 'look, you're probably don't like the way I'm zigzagging on the road. And I've not been drinking."

They then asked Fermanian for his papers, and he complied without hesitation, and even offered to take a breathalyzer test before being let go.

Not long after the encounter he posted a Facebook rant, which got the attention of a Journal de Montréal reporter.

"The guy found it hilarious, and they called me up," "They're saying, 'hey, would you mind if we take a picture of where this happened?' I'm expecting [the resulting story] to be buried on page 137...and then, I wake up on Monday morning and my big face is on the newspaper."

Meanwhile, the mayor of Ste. Adele didn't find the story so fun. 

Nadine Brière caught wind of Fermanian's story on Facebook and decided to fix the road, under provincial jurisdiction, and sent the bill to the Ministry of Transportation.

Brière told the Journal de Montreal that many parts of the Laurentians are underfunded and expect money from the Ministry for road repairs, but right now there is nothing planned for the next five years, so they will have to be patient.

CJAD 800's Richard Deschamps contributed to this report.