SafeRoads v. B.H.

(403) 452-8018

SafeRoads v. B.H.

(SafeRoads, Alberta - Roadside Sanctions/NAP/Refusal). BH was issued a roadside sanction for refusing to comply with a mandatory alcohol screening demand. By operation of the Criminal Code, police are empowered in Canada to treat every motorist as a breath supply sample. Unfortunately, this law is sometimes met with understandable resistance from persons under investigation.

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms says in plain language that every person who is arrested or detained has the right to retain and instruct counsel without delay. For better or worse, the Supreme Court neutered this basic principle, using basic language in a case called R. v. Thomsen. This relatively esoteric common law decision redefined right to counsel for the purpose of roadside sobriety testing. The old law required police to possess a small degree of investigative acumen. Today's law does not require any investigative prowess on the part of police; they can simply make a breath demand on any motorist.

BH questioned police about their power to just make a breath demand. BH did not consume any alcohol or intoxicants. BH was not a drinker.  BH explained this to the offer and asked how the officer arrived at the conclusion that a breath sample was required. The police demanded that BH exit the vehicle. 

BH did not refuse to provide the sample. Unfortunately, BH encountered aggressive police. BH was forcefully taken to the Crown. The officer who did this placed weight on BH causing BH to fracture a leg bone. 

In this case, the adjudicator properly cancelled the roadside sanctions.  Stay tuned, because BH still had criminal charges to deal with.

Thankfully roadside sanctions lawyers do not routinely have to deal with terrible cases such as BH.  In the opinion of this Calgary roadside sanctions lawyer, it was not improper to aggressively take BH to the ground, it was improper to issue a roadside sanction for refusal or failing to blow when the subject obviously could not do so because of a broken leg. David Chow is not a lawyer who sues. David is a full time practicing criminal defence lawyer based in Calgary and roadside sanctions lawyer who helps client throughout Alberta.