Sandra Duval, 34, a resident of Tamarac, Florida, was arrested last month on charges of DUI manslaughter. She was accused of driving under the influence of fentanyl and cocaine, based on her blood test results. While she was driving under the influence of these drugs, she struck 73-year-old Canadian citizen Gerard “Gerry” Allard. Gerry was riding his bicycle along a sidewalk on a Saturday afternoon in March when Ms. Duval drove her jeep onto the sidewalk. Gerry passed away a week after the incident. Gerry’s grandchild dedicated her cross-country race to her late grandfather on what would have been his 74th birthday.

Gerry was a competitive amateur athlete who was a runner and played on local football and hockey teams in Canada. He was married for 51 years and had three sons and nine grandchildren who lived in Canada. After striking Gerry, Ms. Duval drove the Jeep into a tree, according to the police. She was taken by paramedics to the hospital where she was treated for minor injuries.

Ms. Duval allegedly fell asleep multiple times during her interview and blurted out spontaneously that she hit a bike. She also told investigators that she had used heroin 12 hours prior to the collision. The Court ordered Sandra Duval be held without bond until she appears before her trial judge. She also ordered Duval to refrain from alcohol and intoxicants and was also not allowed to operate a motor vehicle during this period. She has been charged with DUI manslaughter while being impaired. She has also been charged with vehicular homicide, two counts of DUI property damage while impaired, and leaving the scene of an accident with property damage. 

What If I am Arrested for Drug-Impaired Driving?

Protecting your future after an arrest is a priority when facing criminal charges. The criminal and DUI defence lawyers at Kruse Law are knowledgeable regarding Canada’s criminal laws. Kruse Law is committed to doing everything they can to try and win your impaired driving case. They are also committed to protecting you from overly harsh sentencing by the Court.

At Kruse Law, our goal is to help people who are arrested for impaired driving and to make fighting potential serious criminal charges a confidential and painless experience for you and your loved ones. We want to help people who have been arrested for any type of criminal charge, including impaired driving, build a strong legal defence. Our team is compassionate, professional, and knowledgeable in criminal and DUI defence, and we are dedicated to working hard on your case. If you are arrested for a crime in Ontario, contact us at +1-800-699-0806 for a free consultation, or visit us online and complete the consultation form. 

Is it Legal to Drive After Smoking Weed?

The possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use was legalized in Canada on October 27, 2018. However, there are questions around what would be the consequences of driving after smoking pot and what would be the permissible limit of growing it at home. As each province is trying to set its own parameters of legal usage of marijuana, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould says “No amount of alcohol or drug consumption is in my view the safe amount to drive with.” This means, there will be law enforcement officers out with tools and a series of tests (like blood or saliva test) to check if drivers are impaired by drugs or alcohol. Also, the government is currently training drug recognition experts to take blood samples on the suspicion of impaired driving. Police forces across Ontario have publicly stated that they intend to be increasingly vigilant in the detection of impaired driving by alcohol or a drug.

The current legislation set by the Federal government creates two classes of convictions. One is when a driver is tested for two to five nanograms of THC per milliliter of his/her blood. In such cases, the police can charge them with a summary conviction criminal offence. On the other hand, drivers having more than five nanograms of THC per milliliter of blood may be charged with a summary or indictable offence. Justice Wilson-Raybould comments that the severity of conviction for impaired driving will be judged on case-by-case basis and admits that high concentrations of THC could be misleading as it could show up even after smoking pot days before the test. 

What Is the Law for Driving Under the Influence in Canada?

Before Canada passed its new impaired driving law (Bill C-46), a police officer could only pull over a driver and demand either an approved roadside screening device breath sample or an intoxilyzer breath sample if the driver exhibited impaired behavior such as weaving in and out of lanes, speeding, improperly operating lights, driving too slowly, or smelling like alcohol or cannabis. Now, Canadian impaired driving laws essentially allow police officers to randomly pull over any driver and ask for a breath or saliva sample. The new Canadian impaired driving laws also:

  • Enforce new criminal offences for driving with a blood drug concentration that is at or above the legal blood drug concentration limit;
  • Allow police officers to demand a driver to provide a sample of their saliva or other bodily substance for roadside drug screening;
  • Authorize mandatory roadside screening for alcohol; and
  • Increasing the maximum penalties and minimum fines for impaired driving. 

What If I am Arrested for Driving Under the Influence?

When choosing a criminal lawyer to represent you or a family member, it is important that you look for a firm that has a lot of experience handling cases similar to yours. Bringing criminal cases to court can be expensive and time-consuming. Therefore, you should choose a firm with the knowledge and experience to handle even the most complex cases. Our experienced lawyers at Kruse Law Firm will discuss your situation and go over the options available to you. We will develop a defence strategy and a customized plan to try and win your case or obtain the best result possible. We have the resources, skill level, and dedicated commitment to making sure all your needs are handled fairly and expeditiously.

If you have been charged with a DUI in Ontario and need legal representation, call us at +1-800-699-0806 for a free consultation, or visit us online and complete the consultation form.

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