The scales of justice weighed in favour of an Accused woman earlier this week, when the Ontario Superior Court upheld her acquittal of impaired driving related charges in Ontario.
Kimberly McLachlan was acquitted of impaired driving in August 2015 after she succeeded in having evidence inadmissible at Trial – her breathalyzer readings, to be specific. This is known as a Charter application, as it seeks to have evidence excluded based on a breach of a Charter protected right.
Her application was based on the fact that when she taken to the police detachment, where she was required to provide a breathalyzer sample, the arresting officers’ had her stand on a scale so that they could have an accurate record of her weight.
Unfortunately, their attempt to be thorough actually triggered a breach of Ms. McLachlan’s section 8 under the Charter – providing protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
It is not part of standard procedure that the police would weigh a person who has been arrested on suspicion of impaired driving. The Judge confirmed that weighing a person is a violation similar in nature to taking bodily fluids (such as a urine or blood) without a warrant.
It is nuances like this – something seemingly harmless – that will catch the attention of a skilled criminal lawyer. Circumstances like these demonstrate the necessity of hiring a criminal lawyer who is familiar with Charter protected rights.
Impaired driving is a particularly complex offence, with a variety of available defences that must be reviewed in tandem with your unique circumstances. Contact our office today for a consultation that will allow us to come familiar with your situation.