R. v. B.M, 2016 [July, 2016, Lloydminister, Alberta]: Over 80, Impaired Driving and Dangerous Driving charges results in an acquittal.

Published On: Oct 06,2016

Our client was facing various charges under criminal law including impaired driving, “Over 80” and dangerous driving. The allegation were significant In our view, the best defence for our client was under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. Accordingly, a Notice was filed in the Courts positing various violations. Our strongest argument were predicated on Section 9 of the Charter. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police Members detained our client overnight without lawful authority. The Courts have ruled, in previous case, that such conduct is impermissible. Our Criminal Defence Lawyers relied on an unreported decision called Regina v. Bishop, Court File Number 110249802P1 wherein the Honourable Judge Ann J. Brown, PCJ stated (in that case):

“Essentially, 497 and 498 of the Criminal Code require a person be released unless the police officer believes on reasonable grounds that it’s necessary in the public interest to detain the person. And there are certain stipulated reasons for which that detention can be made: if it’s necessary to establish the identity of the person, secure or preserve evidence relating to the offence, prevent the continuing or repetition of the offence or commission off another offence, and ensure the safety and security of any victim or witness to the offence. And there’s also the concern that if the person is released from custody, thet person will fail to attend court in order to be dealt with according to law.

Those are the considerations that a police officer must bring to bear when deciding whether or not to release someone from custody. So none of those concerns was present in your case. Constable Ludlow’s explanation was that you had no one to call to collect you. And there seemed to be, from Constable Ludlow’s evidence, something of an unwritten policy in the Okotoks RCMP to keep a person who had been drinking in custody until sober. But even if that was the case, and that was certainly the explanation that Constable Ludlow provided for keeping you overnight, there was no checking — or, no evidence that your condition was checked later on and at all times you displayed minimal signs of impairment by alcohol.

So there was no offer of contacting a — a taxi or offering you a — a phone call or — or a lift, nothing of that nature. It was simply that you were kept overnight. This is very similar to the Macalvey (phonetic) decision, which is a Court of Queen’s Bench decision in which the trial judge at Provincial Court granted a stay and then Justice Langston of the Court of Queen’s Bench dismissed the Crown appeal. Your situation, I think, is also quite distinguishable from that of Sims (phonetic) from the Alberta Court of Appeal in which the person was grossly intoxicated, had suffered injuries, the weather was freezing outside. Certainly those reasons would have a bearing in the concern for the public interest and ensuring that a person was not a danger to himself or others.”

Our client was acquitted of all charges against him due to a want of evidence against him. It is critical to ensure the you have a qualified criminal defence lawyer that understands the intricacies of impaired driving and criminal (defence) law to review your file to ensure that all defences are marshalled to your available. For a consultation, call Mr. J. S. Patel at 403-585-1960.