SafeRoads v. B.B.

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SafeRoads v. B.B.

(Alberta SafeRoads - Notice of Administrative Penalty/Roadside Sanctions).  An impaired driving complaint was lodged against BBB by an Informant with questionable motivation. Despite that dubious motive, police were required to investigate and properly did so. BBB was subject to a traffic stop, where the investigating officer made a Mandatory Alcohol Screening Demand (MAS demand).  BBB complied with the test and reportedly blew a "fail".

In Alberta, roadside breath testing is conducted on an approved screening device. For Criminal Code purposes, evidence collected on a roadside screening device has investigative value only and thus cannot on its own be used to convict a motorist of operating a conveyance with blood-alcohol at/over the legal limit or impaired driving. SafeRoads is different because it permits this roadside breath testing to be used as evidence capable of legitimizing a roadside sanction. 

A safeguard to relying on a roadside screening device is that a motorist who fails the first time can by law request an appeal of that sample. The law requires that the motorist be provided with his or her right to a roadside appeal in writing or must otherwise be made aware of the right. The Alberta Court of Appeal in SafeRoads v. Lausen held that it is incumbent on law enforcement to properly adhere to the procedural rules established by the legislation and that a failure to do so may result in cancellation of roadside sanctions.

In BBB's case, the officer only offered BBB opportunity to blow again but did not explain the key parts of the right to roadside appeal. The adjudicator cancelled BBB's roadside sanctions because the right to a roadside appeal had not been fully provided.

David Chow is a Calgary based, Alberta Roadside Sanctions lawyer who routinely successfully applies to have roadside sanctions cancelled.  If you have been issued a Notice of Administrative Penalty/Roadside Sanction, David Chow offers a free initial telephone consultation.