Monday, March 21, 2016

Woman who blamed wrong-way driving on being Canadian had meth, marijuana and a cat

When Montreal native Valerie Helene Godbout, 33, was pulled over for driving the wrong way in Orange County, Florida, she explained to an officer that she lived in Canada. She then explained to the officer how traffic worked in Canada and used it as an excuse for why she was driving in the wrong direction. The only problem was that in both Canada and the United States, citizens drive on the right-hand side of the road.

"She tried to explain how traffic worked in Canada," Oakland police officer Charles Streetzel wrote in an arrest report. "After listening to her I explained that the roadway she had been travelling on operated under the same principles. At this time I noticed her eyes were bloodshot and she seemed to be confused," Streetzel wrote. The cooperative Ms Godbout was later charged with possession of marijuana, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia and booked into the Orange County Jail. A cat found in the car was turned over to Orange County Animal Services for "safe keeping."

The encounter happened just before 12:10am last Thursday. Streetzel was driving a police vehicle when a corporal in the passenger seat spotted the wrong-way driver run a red light. "In an attempt to prevent a head on collision with other vehicles, I made a U-turn and placed my vehicle in the path of all traffic," Streetzel wrote. "The vehicle heading east stopped, as well as the traffic heading westbound." Godbout followed Streetzel's orders and pulled off into a nearby parking lot, where she tried to explain why she was driving on the left side against the flow of traffic.

She told the officer she drove from Canada, stopped in New York and Miami and was now heading to California. Streetzel asked if she was on drugs. She glanced over at a small glass container with a red rubber lid covered in jewels and said, "No," repeatedly. "I could plainly see some sort of leafy substance in the container," the officer wrote. He asked what was in it and she said, "Nothing! It's a friend's. It's not mine." She later said "it's weed" but it belonged to a friend. After she got out of the vehicle, officers searched and found a bag with substances later determined to be marijuana and meth. The pet, Mia, was reclaimed by Godbout on Saturday when she was released from jail after posting bond.

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