According to an article published by the National Post, a woman who had been accused of drunk driving has been acquitted due to the fact that a police breath technician asked her to step on a scale to be weighed. The new appellate decision on the matter upholds a trial court’s initial ruling. On appeal, the judge found that while forcing someone to be weighed is not as intrusive as taking samples of a person’s bodily fluids, it was still an egregious enough violation of the woman’s rights that it justified excluding her blood alcohol readings.
Requiring someone to step on a scale is only one of the ways in which the police could violate your rights during a stop. For example, in another recent case that occurred in Toronto, breathalyzer evidence was excluded because the police took too long to administer a roadside breath test to a driver who they suspected was under the influence.
Some of the other ways that the police could violate your rights while investigating a case of suspected drunk driving include the following:
The examples provided above are just a few of the ways that the police can violate your Charter rights during a traffic stop. The law regarding unreasonable search and seizure in Canada is extremely complicated, and it can be very difficult for someone without legal training to recognize whether a violation took place. As such, you should always have a lawyer review the facts of your case, regardless of the circumstances.
Many people are surprised to learn just how serious the consequences of driving under the influence (DUI) can be, even for a first-time offence. If you are convicted, you could face the following:
In addition to these court-imposed sanctions, you could also be facing the imposition of serious collateral consequences by your employer or the administration of the school you attend. For this reason, you should always do everything you can to protect your legal rights, starting by calling a lawyer.
When the police violate the rights of a suspect, it can often result in the exclusion of evidence. As a result, anyone that has been arrested for drunk driving should have their case reviewed by a lawyer as soon as possible. Even in cases where there are no defences available, the representation of a lawyer can often result in a plea-bargain agreement that is significantly more favourable than the outcomes defendants could obtain on their own. To schedule a case evaluation with an Alberta DUI defence lawyer, call us today at 403-474-4143 or send us an email through our online contact form.