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CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. — A Charlottetown taxi driver who was stopped at an intersection and slumped over the steering wheel whereas impaired by hashish greater than double the authorized restrict has been convicted and sentenced in provincial court docket.
Timothy George Simpson, 68, beforehand pleaded not responsible to the impaired driving by THC cost and had a trial on June 14 in provincial court docket in Charlottetown. Simpson represented himself on the half-day trial.
Crown lawyer John Diamond referred to as a number of witnesses to testify, together with two folks in one other motorized vehicle, two paramedics, three Charlottetown law enforcement officials, an emergency room nurse and a lab technician on the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and a forensic toxicologist with the RCMP in Ottawa.
Based on the proof offered at trial, on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2022, at round 5:30 p.m., motorists on Mount Edward Highway seen a Co-Op taxicab on Oak Drive stopped on the intersection. Visitors was backed up behind the taxicab.
“The taxi driver had his head slumped on the steering wheel, and I actually thought he was in misery,” testified a lady who bought out of a car to see if the motive force was OK.
“His foot was on the brake, however the automobile was nonetheless in drive and there was a variety of visitors at this level.”
She put the taxicab in “park” and activated the hazard lights. She managed to get up Simpson, who appeared “groggy.” She additionally phoned the taxi firm and her buddy referred to as 911.
Simpson refused to let a person on the scene transfer the taxicab to the shoulder of the highway. As a substitute, Simpson drove and parked the car with the opposite man within the passenger’s seat.
Police arrived and seen that Simpson confirmed indicators of impairment, equivalent to slurred speech and nearly passing out. Consequently, Simpson was arrested.
Simpson advised a paramedic that he was drained and had beforehand referred to as a taxi to take him house. A taxi did arrive on the scene whereas Simpson was speaking to a paramedic. Simpson additionally admitted to the paramedic that he had taken morphine for a medical challenge that day, and greater than the prescribed dosage.
On condition that admission about morphine and the indicators of impairment he was displaying, Simpson was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) and given Narcan by an ER nurse.
Blood samples have been additionally taken from Simpson as a result of impaired driving investigation. The samples have been despatched to the RCMP’s nationwide forensic laboratory for evaluation.
Though hydromorphone was talked about within the toxicology report, the principle discovering was that Simpson had 11.5 nanograms (ng) of THC in a single millilitre of blood when the pattern was taken after his arrest. The authorized restrict is 5 ng.
Simpson referred to as one witness to testify – himself. He advised the court docket that he has labored as a taxi driver for 16 years. He added that he wasn’t on responsibility as a taxi driver in the course of the incident, and the taxicab can also be his private car.
Simpson additionally referenced in court docket an evaluation of the toxicology report ready by a guide he employed. That evaluation indicated that the THC studying was the results of latest use however wasn’t essentially linked to impairment in relation to the incident, mentioned Simpson.
Even so, primarily based on the THC readings being above the authorized restrict and the witness accounts that Simpson confirmed indicators of impairment, Chief Choose Jeff Lantz discovered him responsible of the offence.
Lantz sentenced Simpson to seven days in jail, a one-year driving ban (plus the time in jail), a $1,500 high quality and a $450 sufferer surcharge.
Simpson did not have a previous prison document.
Terrence McEachern is a justice reporter with SaltWire in Prince Edward Island. He could be reached by electronic mail at [email protected] and could be adopted on Twitter @terry_mcn.