Mr. C experienced what many of us have in the past; an argument with his partner. At the time he was only a few minutes from his house at a local bar. He wanted to return home quickly due to the fight, so he finished his beer, got in his car, and began to drive home. Moments later, he found himself pulled over by the police. With the beer still on his breath, he performed a roadside breath test and blew over the legal limit. He was brought in for a blood test, failed, and received his charge of over 80.
Initial meetings with the Crown revealed key inconsistencies between what Mr. C claims he said to the police, and what the police claim Mr. C said to them. The Crown believed they had a stronger case than we had initially hoped.
Mr. C was concerned with what the charge could cost him both personally and financially. The firm’s owner, Richard Aitken, spoke with Mr. C directly to discuss the options we had based on the evidence, the Crown’s position, and Mr. C’s financial requirements. We would seek the criminal charges withdrawn in exchange for lesser fines and penalties.
We quickly began to choose which areas of the case to focus on for the defence. The possibility that the machine was improperly calibrated and the wait time between the detention and Mr. C contacting legal counsel were contenders.
Our main goal was to rely on the residual alcohol on his breath, which would trigger the breath test but not yet have entered his system fully to cause impairment. We would present these options to the Crown to seek a plea deal, as the client wanted to avoid the costs associated with trials.
“I am going to do exactly what the lawyers recommend because it is the right thing to do” led the judge as we concluded Mr. C’s case in court.
We had come to an agreement with the Crown: drop the criminal charge, and Mr. C would plead guilty to careless driving, pay a $500 fine, and agree not to drive with any alcohol in his system for 12 months.
Careless driving is a provincial offence and carries no criminal record and the fine was close to the lowest amount possible for a careless driving charge. Mr. C considered this a win, and because of that, so did we.