Care and Control of a Vehicle
To get charged, typically what happens is a police officer comes by, or you come to a police officer’s attention by some way, shape, or form, and they form what’s called “reasonable and probably grounds to believe” that you either were impaired, and had care and control of the vehicle, or your blood alcohol was above the legal limit, and had care and control of the vehicle.
The reasonable and probable grounds standard is fairly low, more or less it allows police to arrest when there’s smoke, assuming there’s fire. But the law is not so inflexible as to criminalize innocent uses of a vehicle, even if you’re impaired, and Over 80. So often it’s my purpose to explain to the court that you were using the vehicle for one of these innocent purposes and didn’t create a risk of danger and therefore, seek acquittal.
An innocent purpose, for example, can be staying in a car while waiting, if it’s perhaps very cold outside, the problem is, is that police are not forming reasonable probable grounds based on a trial, they’re forming reasonable probable grounds simply based on first instance interactions with you, and if you’re in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, the presumption under the Criminal Code makes it a foregone conclusion that you’re going to get charged, and the presumption I’m referring to is the presumption of care and control which states that if you are in the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle and you are impaired or Over 80, you’re presumed to be in care and control of the vehicle and at that point the Crown just has to prove impairment or Over 80.