Death of a correctional officer: intoxicated at the wheel, she risks 42 months in jail

Death of a correctional officer: drunk driving, she faces 42 months in jail

BET À DAY

A 52-year-old who got behind the wheel after drinking at least three beers and glasses of wine will face 42 months in prison for impaired driving causing the death of an officer correctional in 2017, in Saint-Césaire.

“I have a lot of remorse, I feel guilty for having done wrong. I made a decision that turned out to be tragic and I take responsibility for it, ”testified Yaël Lemieux, wiping away his tears, Thursday at the Saint-Hyacinthe courthouse. 

The person from Longueuil, who defines himself as non-binary, was found guilty in May 2021 after a trial for having “driving heavily intoxicated”, in October 2017.

Lemieux was driving on an unlit portion of the A10 in Montérégie while it was raining, then lost control of his small Hyundai Sonata before hitting the guardrail. A piece of metal was thrown into the oncoming lane, where Francis Wadieh Badir was traveling. 

The Cowansville Institution correctional officer rolled over the object before losing control of his car and collide with another vehicle. 

The 43-year-old man died from the force of the impact. He was about to reunite with his wife of Russian origin after years of a long-distance relationship, reported Le Journal at the time.

The passenger of a other vehicle involved in the collision still lives with sequelae, according to what she had described to the Court.

Yaël Lemieux

Twice the limit

Detecting a strong smell of alcohol, the police had taken a breathalyzer on the spot in Lemieux.

During the trial, it was possible to learn that his blood alcohol level was at least 173 mg per 100 ml of blood at that time, more than double the legal limit which is set at 80 mg.

In his defense, Yaël Lemieux said instead that a car had suddenly cut his way and that there had been no faulty conduct on his part to cause the fatal accident. Judge Benoît Gariépy did not accept his version.

The magistrate considers that “alcohol acted as a disinhibiting factor […] causing her to underestimate or tolerate the danger” , particularly in connection with the poor road conditions that evening.

Driving prohibited

The Crown prosecutor, Me Sabrina Labrie, and the Defense attorney Marc-André Gauthier said Thursday they would propose a joint suggestion of 42 months incarceration at the next hearing, scheduled for September.

He will be barred to drive for two years after leaving the penitentiary.