Not long ago Taylor Knoblauch was stopped under suspicion of impaired driving in Regina Beach. After looking the scene over the police officer arrested the man, giving as one of his reasons that the suspect had a mouth full of sunflower seeds. This did not seem normal to the officer. In fact, he took it as a sign of impairment.
Judge Murray Hinds didn’t see it that way. To him, having a mouth stuffed with sunflower seeds did not constitute evidence of impairment. Most likely, it constituted a craving for large amounts of sunflower seeds.
The reports do not specify whether or not the seeds had the shells removed.
In any case, the defendant was acquitted of the impairment charge. However, a breathalyzer revealed the suspect to be legally drunk, so a different charge was levied.
Usually at this point we ask what lesson we can take away from the incident. There appear to be two:
- Sunflower seeds are legal in the mouth in any quantity while operating a motor vehicle
- Drinking and driving is still against the law in Saskatchewan
All in all, justice was served.