Here’s a snippet from an Ontario judgment earlier this week: “Daniel Mali drove home while intoxicated, parked his car, and began urinating against his front porch. A police officer responding to a call about a possible impaired driver arrived, walked onto Mr. Mali’s property and began to ask him questions. Mr. Mali initially told the officer that he ‘had to pee’ and did not want to speak to him, but then began to answer the officer’s questions. Mr. Mali submits that when he told the officer he did not want to speak to him, the officer was obliged to leave the property. His failure to do so means that Mr. Mali’s subsequent arrest for impaired driving and a demand for breath samples violated his s. 8 and 9 Charter rights.”
Mali blew almost three times over the legal limit, but wanted those samples thrown out.
The judge didn’t agree.
In another case this week, a different impaired driver wanted breathalyzer evidence thrown out because a police officer failed to turn on the camera in his police cruiser before waking the driver and asking him to step out of his car — even thought the police car was pointing in a different direction, away from the scene.
In yet another, an accused tried to have her charges tossed because the police officer involved took time to finish the written grounds for her arrest before walking her to the breathalyzer room. Thirteen minutes of delay, according to the defence, mean the testing wasn’t done “as soon as is practicable,” and meant the charges should be dropped. The judge in the case disagreed, saying, “Compliance with the ‘as soon as is practicable’ is not something to be measured with a stopwatch, nor does it oblige police officers to proceed with robotic efficiency.”