Case Study: Impaired Operation and Over 80 – No Conviction
Ms. H. came to our office facing severe consequences. She was also dealing with personal hardships including years of alcohol dependency and many failed attempts at remaining alcohol free. Ms. H. was drinking and driving. She was operating her vehicle on a highway when she lost control and ended in a ditch. There was no one else in the vehicle. This was a stormy December night. Ms. H. remained on the scene of the accident. Witnesses informed police of a female standing near a vehicle stuck in a ditch on the side of the highway. Officers soon arrived and began conducting an investigation. It was determined Ms. H. was the driver, and that she had alcohol in her body. She was subsequently administered with a roadside screening device where she registered a fail. Ms. H. was placed under arrest and transported to the police station for the purpose of providing further breath samples. She provided two samples reading a blood alcohol concentration of 269 and 245.
The goal was to resolve Ms. H.’s matter in the most favourable fashion. Ms. H. was not at a good place in her life. We knew we had to do our best to get Ms. H. out of the justice system so that she could work on getting her life back on track.
After a thorough review of all evidence, it was evident that the Crown would have a very hard time succeeding at trial. There were multiple technical and constitutional breaches as well as omissions made by the investigating officers. We knew Ms. H. could not plead guilty. Although the Crown did not budge after initial discussions and continued to pursue with the prosecution, we did not give up. A constitutional application was filed and Ms. H.’s matter was set down for a trial.
The Crown Attorney carefully considered our arguments and Constitutional Application. Less than one week before trial the Crown ceased with the prosecution and offered to withdraw Ms. H.’s charges for a plea to a Highway Traffic Act offence of careless driving. Ms. H.’s charges were withdrawn. She did not get a criminal record and did not lose her licence. Ms. H. was delighted.