A 36-year-old soccer mom who drove the wrong way on Taconic State Parkway in New York was drunk and stoned on a Sunday afternoon when she crashed into an SUV, killing herself, four children in her minivan, and three men in the SUV she crashed into.
Toxicology reports on Diane Schuler show she drank at least 10 vokda drinks and smoked marijuana right before climbing into the minivan and turning the wrong way onto the multi-lane road.
Schuler had a blood-alcohol content of .19 percent — more than twice the legal limit of .08 percent, authorities said. She also had 6 grams of undigested booze in her stomach, they said.
In addition, the West Babylon resident had "a high number" — 113 nanograms per milliliter — of THC, the active component of marijuana, in her bloodstream, said Betsy Spratt, chief toxicologist with the Westchester DA’s Office.
That indicated Schuler smoked pot 15 minutes to one hour before the crash, Spratt said.
With the alcohol alone, Schuler, 36, "would have had difficulty with perception, with her judgment, with her memory," Spratt said. "Around that level of alcohol, you also start to get tunnel vision."
When combined with marijuana, "those effects are intensified," she said.
Schuler’s husband, Nassau County public-safety officer Daniel Schuler, has told police that his wife occasionally smoked pot and was a social drinker, WCBS-TV reported.
As a cynical, hard-boiled newspaperman, I don’t shock easily but this story shook me to the core. The wife of a public safety officer smoked pot with his knowledge and had enough of a drinking problem to get wasted before driving off with children in her van and he calls her a "social drinker?"
I lost loved ones when a trucker, driving stoned on grass without the extra intoxication of booze, wandered into the oncoming lane of traffic. The next time some stoner gets in my face and tells me that smoking grass is harmless, I’ll try to resist the urge to lose my temper. Hopefully, I will have enough self-control to just walk away.