Drunk driver gets 30 months in prison for crash that left friend brain damaged



WINNIPEG - A man who was behind the wheel during a drunk-driving crash that left his friend with permanent brain damage and unable to care for himself has been sentenced to 30 months in prison.

Daniel Dupuis, 41, was convicted last year of impaired driving causing bodily harm for the collision on April 4, 2009.

Judge Diana Cameron also ordered that Dupuis be prohibited from driving for five years.

The Crown previously recommended Dupuis be sentenced to four years in prison.

Court heard Dupuis and his then-48-year-old friend had spent the day sandbagging before going to a friend's home for a night of drinking. The men were driving south on Ste. Anne's Rd. at about 5 a.m. when Dupuis lost control of the vehicle at high speed and crashed into a road sign.

Police estimated Dupuis had nearly three times the legal limit of alcohol in his blood at the time of the crash.

His friend suffered a fractured spine and broken ribs and had the top of his head peeled back. He now lives in a home for people with Alzheimer's disease and requires around the clock care.

Defence lawyer Carl Gowenlock said Dupuis had been sleeping prior to getting behind the wheel and didn't think he was impaired.

"There is no indication he set out to harm his friend that night," Gowenlock said at a sentencing hearing last month.

Dupuis offered an emotional apology for his actions.

"If I could change places with (the victim) I would," Dupuis said last month. "I made a very bad choice that morning. I drove and I shouldn't have."

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