* Names have been changed to protect client privacy.
253 (1) (b): Operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration that exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood.
BACKGROUND: Natalie was seen driving a vehicle away from an area where a loud party was occurring in Kemptville. An officer stopped her and conducted a breath test, and then the accused was taken to a police detachment for another breath test. The readings on both breath tests showed her blood alcohol level to be over Ontario’s legal limit, and police charged her with Over 80.
GOALS: The possible consequences of an Over 80 conviction in Ontario are serious – if convicted you may be forced to pay fines, and you will likely have your license suspended. Our client wanted to avoid those situations at all costs, so I made it our my goal to have the charges against her dismissed.
STRATEGY: I decided to apply to have all of the evidence excluded, because the methods used to obtain it were in violation of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms sections 7, 8, 9, 10(b), 11(d) and 24(2). We filed a Charter application making the request. I argued that the problems with Natalie’s arrest were as follows:
- The officer lacked reasonable grounds to stop and arrest the driver.
- At the time of her arrest, Natalie was not given reasonable opportunity to choose her lawyer and contact him or her.
- The roadside breath test was not conducted forthwith and the officer did not have a “Warrant to Search” authorizing him to conduct the test.
RESULTS: The judge agreed that, under the stressful circumstances of her arrest, my client had not been given suitable opportunity to contact counsel as per her Charter rights under section 10. The charges against our client were dismissed at trial. The judge also agreed with my argument that the police and the Crown were responsible for the delay in getting the case to trial. The judge dismissed the charges on this argument as well.