She suffers an accident and is falsely accused of being under the influence of cannabis

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She has an accident and is falsely accused of being under the influence of cannabis

Pam Staples-Wilkinson was arrested on suspicion of impaired driving shortly after a car accident on March 16 2021.

New Brunswicker Pam Staples-Wilkinson has never used cannabis. Yet in March 2021, she was unable to convince a Fredericton police officer that she was sober shortly after a car accident.

The accident happened in Fredericton. Ms Staples-Wilkinson's car hit an oncoming car that made a left turn ahead of her at an intersection.

She walked away shaken and suffering from concussion symptoms. She checked on the other motorist and called 911.

She mistakenly named the 911 after the model of her car because she used to drive another one. She later learned from police documents that the dispatcher had told officers he felt she was impaired.

Pam Staples-Wilkinson hit a car that made a left turn in front of her while traveling at a road intersection near the Regent Mall in Fredericton on March 16, 2021.

Ms. Staples-Wilkinson reports that Constable Garret Fancy arrived at the scene and immediately gave her a sobriety test consisting of walking, pivoting, standing on one foot and following an object with her eyes. one moves in front of his face. The agent informed her that she had failed the test. He handcuffed her and took her to the police station.

I was appalled because I couldn't understand why he automatically assumed I was impaired, when 'he hardly spoke to me,' says Staples-Wilkinson.

Everyone reacts differently in a car accident, she adds.< /p>

Ms Staples-Wilkinson underwent two hours of questioning and a new 12-step sobriety test. Another officer, Dylan Howell, was present at the request of Garett Fancy as a drug recognition expert.

She was able to leave the station that evening, but she was prohibited from driving for the next seven days and had to promise to appear in court to answer an impaired driving charge.

Pam Staples-Wilkinson suffered from anxiety for the next nine months, until the result of the drug test confirmed that she had not used any, which cleared her.

She filed a complaint with the New Brunswick Police Commission. The latter investigated and concluded in June that the two officers had been negligent in the performance of their duties.

Garret Fancy failed to consider the whole picture when assessing Ms Staples-Wilkinson's sobriety and Dylan Howell failed to summon an officer who should have been present during the drug recognition test. The investigator also concluded that Constable Fancy abused his authority.

In July, Pam Staples-Wilkinson received a letter of apology from the Chief of then-Fredericton police, Roger Brown. He explains in his letter that the police have imposed disciplinary measures on Constable Fancy, including vocational training.

Ms. Staples-Wilkinson explains that her confidence in the police service is shaken and that this experience greatly affected his mental health.

I had to take medication because I could not sleep. It was constantly on my mind, she laments.

Fredericton police believe the file is closed, settled by the Commission, and they are not giving an interview about it.

Based on a report by Aidan Cox, CBC

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