Drunk driving laws are put in place to stop people from making the choice to drink and drive, but sometimes a case can end with the a guilty drunk driver being let off because of a loophole, exception, or failure of the police to handle the investigation properly. These issues are usually discovered when someone charged with impaired driving uses them in a court of law, and that’s what’s happened to two Sudbury, Ontario men who both managed to skirt an impaired driving charges within just a few months.
The man in this case was charged with impaired driving after police noticed he was parked on the side of a quiet road. The investigating officer noticed that there was unopened alcohol in the back of the truck, but didn’t see any evidence of it in the cab where the man was sitting.
Suspecting that the man was impaired, the officer made the decision to ask the driver to step out of the vehicle. That’s when he noticed that the man smelt of alcohol and had slurred speech. The man admitted to drinking two beer and failed a field sobriety test, the officer searched the vehicle, and the driver was charged with impaired driving.
When his case came to court he cited that the search was a breach of his privacy due to the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and his impaired driving charges were overturned because, according to the court, the police officer searched his vehicle without proper justification.
He’s the second Sudbury man to get an impaired driving charge overturned in the past few months. Another Sudbury man had his own charge overturned because there was a lengthy delay in court proceedings. He waited twenty two months before it went to court, and now the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that there needs to be tighter timelines for these cases.
The city of Sudbury is no stranger to drunk drivers, and because the city has such a problem with people drinking and driving, having impaired driving charges overturned for these issues must be a tough pill for police to swallow.
It’s not every day a driver manages to overturn a charge like this one, but maybe these two drivers will have learned their lesson, are grateful they managed to skirt the charges and penalties, and will never drink and drive again.