Regina v. S.R.T. [April 2017] – Impaired Care or Control of a Motor Vehicle

Section 253(a) of the Criminal Code of Canda – Impaired Care or Control of a Motor Vehicle

S.R.T. got into a verbal altercation with his common-law partner and she ultimately locked him out of their home.  Consequently, he sat in his vehicle.  An interested neighbour watched the occurrence from his nearby window.  The neighbour observed the vehicle drive onto the lawn and S.R.T. roll down the windows and start yelling and playing loud music. Not surprisingly, the neighbour called the police to report a possible impaired driver. The police arrived on scene and found S.R.T. in the driver’s seat of his vehicle next to a half-empty bottle of vodka. S.R.T. was asked to step out of the vehicle. S.R.T. complied. As he was exiting his vehicle, S.R.T. lost his footing and fell to the ground, at the feet of the investigating officers. Due to the totality of the circumstances, the police arrested S.R.T. for impaired care and control of a motor vehicle.  Many people are surprised to learn that you do not have to put your vehicle in motion (or even have the keys in the ignition) to be arrested and charged with impaired driving (care or control).  People are further surprised to learn that impaired care or control of a motor vehicle carries with it the same penalty as impaired driving – typically a fine, a 1-year driving prohibition, and a criminal record. S.R.T. retained the services of Sean Fagan criminal defence lawyer.  At trial, Sean Fagan brought an application to exclude all evidence of impairment from the trial as a consequence of the violation of S.R.T’s right to be free from unreasonable search or seizure and his right to be free from arbitrary arrest. Moreover, Sean Fagan successfully challenged the testimony of the primary investigating officer and caused many of the indicia of impairment that the officers observed to be excluded from the trial.  At the end of the trial, the judge returned a verdict of not guilty.