by Craig Zeeh
In 2017, the government introduced Bill C-46, which is the most consequential piece of impaired driving legislation that Canada has introduced in years. Bill C-46 will add new provisions and amend old provisions of the Criminal Code for alcohol- and drug-impaired offences.
One of the significant changes of the Bill is the change to the use of approved screening devices, known as an “ASD”.
by Richard Posner
A police officer who reasonably suspects that a person is operating a motor vehicle with alcohol in his or her body may, by demand made forthwith, require that person to provide a suitable sample of breath into an approved screening device, known as an “ASD”. These devices are approved by Parliament and are the subject of important guidelines established by Ontario’s Centre of Forensic Sciences and the Alcohol Test Committee (see: https://www.csfs.ca/what-we-do/csfs-committees/atc-alcohol-test-committee/). With proper training and experience, the ASD is a relatively simple device to use, and its results are generally reliable.
by Eva Taché-Green
Anyone charged with a criminal offence knows there is a risk they will be convicted. In 2016, for example, 64% of criminal cases in Canada ended in a finding of guilt.1 On the other hand, anyone who has been convicted of a criminal offence knows with absolute certainty that they will be sentenced in some way. Although less than half of the sentences imposed in Canada include a period of incarceration,2 other sanctions, such as fines, driving prohibitions, and probation, can have serious consequences for an offender. Long after the drama of the trial fades away, the sting of the sentence lingers, particularly where the sentence imposed feels unfair. It is understandable that an offender in this situation may want to launch a sentence appeal.
by Alexander Ostroff
In criminal trials heard by a judge alone, sitting without a jury, the reasons provided for his or her decision are particularly important. The Supreme Court has held that the trial judge has a duty to give reasons in non-jury criminal trials.
by Alexandra Mamo
In anticipation of the upcoming legalization of marihuana, the government is ensuring that police officers become more skilled in identifying drivers who are impaired by drugs on Ontario’s highways.
The law currently allows police officers to go through three steps to determine if someone is driving while impaired.
by Richard Posner
Operating a motor vehicle while your ability is impaired by alcohol is a serious criminal offence in Canada. Equally serious is the related offence of operating a motor vehicle with more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of your blood. So too is the offence of failing or refusing to provide a breath sample at the roadside or at the police station. Each of these offences are informally but frequently referred to as “DUI charges”.