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Taconic Driver Impaired by Alcohol, Marijuana

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Westchester County's Forensic Laboratory says its toxicology report shows the woman who caused the fatal wrong-way crash on the Taconic Parkway, had a blood alcohol level of .19. That's more than twice New York's legal limit. Betsey Spratt, the county's chief toxicologist, says that could explain impaired driving.

SPRATT: Around that level of alcohol, you also start to get what's called tunnel vision where your perception is changed. So you can't see peripherally all the time, depending on her tolerance that she has to alcohol as well.

That audio courtsey of WNBC. Investigators say Diane Schuler drove her minivan for more than two miles. She crashed head-on into an SUV killing herself, her two-year-old daughter and three young nieces, as well as the three men in the SUV.

State Police say they found a broken bottle of vodka near the wreck and Schuler still had six grams of alcohol in her stomach that had yet to be metabolised. The autopsy also found that she was impaired by marijuana.

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