Over 80 charge dismissed: Natalie’s Case

Over 80 charge dismissed: Natalie’s Case

CHARGES:

Operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration that exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood contrary to Section 253 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

BACKGROUND: As she was driving away from an area where a loud party as taking place, Natalie was stopped by police. The officer who pulled her over conducted a road-side breath test, which Natalie failed. She was then taken by the officer to the police detachment for another breath test.  After failing the second breath test, she was charged with Over 80.

Read the Summary of Police Allegations

GOALS: It is well known that the consequences of an Over 80 conviction in Ontario are very serious. Those convicted often pay heavy fines, have their license suspended and are burdened with a criminal record. In this case, we set a goal to have Natalie avoid a criminal record. Natalie and I hoped we could have her charge dismissed.

STRATEGY: I applied to have much of the evidence in this case 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 felt like there were several problems with Natalie’s arrest:

  • The officer who pulled Natalie over lacked the required reasonable grounds to stop and arrest her.
  • Natalie was not given reasonable opportunity to choose her lawyer and contact him or her at the time of her arrest.
  • The breath test conducted on the roadside was not done in a timely manner and the officer involved did not have a “Warrant to Search” which would authorize him to conduct the test.

RESULTS: The Judge in this case agreed with several of the arguments we made, and all charges against our client were dismissed at trial.

Read the Judge’s Decision

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