Repeat drunk driver not a dangerous offender, Que. judge rules

VALLEYFIELD, Que. — A Quebec Court judge ruled here Wednesday that dangerous-offender status should not be applied to a repeat drunk driver who killed a woman last year.

Instead Quebec Court Judge Michel Mercier sentenced Roger Walsh, 57, a St. Lazare, Que. resident to a life sentence — a rarity in cases of impaired driving causing death.

Mercier called Walsh incorrigible and noted he was not supposed to be either drinking or driving when he fatally struck Anee Khudaverdian in Les Cedres, Que. on Oct. 23 — her 47th birthday.

The dangerous-offender designation — reserved for Canada’s worst criminals — has never been applied in a case involving impaired driving .

Khudaverdian, a polio victim who had lost the use of her legs when she was nine months old, was in a wheelchair when she was struck by Walsh’s Dodge Caravan.

She died on impact and her body was tossed 20 metres.

After killing Khudaverdian, Walsh continued driving until his vehicle went off the road eight kilometres farther on.

His blood-alcohol level was found to be more than twice the legal limit. He was on probation for a 2005 impaired driving conviction at the time of the accident.

Valleyfield is about 70 kilometres west of Montreal.
© Copyright (c) Canwest News Service

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