SafeRoads v. C.W.F.
SafeRoads v. C.W.F.
(Alberta Director of SafeRoads - Notice of Administrative Penalty). Police are empowered across Canada to make a Mandatory Alcohol Screening Demand (MAS) whenever a motorist is subject to a traffic stop as long as the officer has an approved screening device (ASD) in his or her possession. An "approved screening device" is an instrument recognized in the Criminal Code for use by police in conducting roadside sobriety testing. In Alberta, police are equipped with an Alco-Sensor FST. As long as the device is properly maintained and calibrated, it is considered a reliable method for testing blood alcohol using breath. Whenever an ASD is used, it is important to ensure that it is used properly; for the instrument might register a false positive or perhaps no result at all if the investigating officer does not follow operating procedures.
In CFW's case the adjudicator closely inspected all of the evidence in arriving at his decision to cancel roadside sanctions. In this case, the officer admitted to pushing the device into CFW's mouth. CFW claimed a reasonable excuse for failing to provide the breath sample because of the manner in which the instrument was being used. Specifically, CFW had dental work that was at risk because the officer pushed the ASD into CFW's teeth. In his decision, the adjudicator stated: "I am left wonder why the officer felt the need to push the mouthpiece into the Recipient's teeth at all". The adjudicator also considered that the officer was taking samples outside in the frigid temperature when he could have placed CFW into a more temperate climate where the Recipient was not shivering. In this case, CFW tried to blow but could not provide the sample in the circumstances.
David Chow defended his first impaired driving case in 1999. David articled with the Crown Prosecutor's Office in Calgary until 2005 when he joined the criminal defence bar. David is a full time practicing criminal defence lawyer in Alberta who routinely handles DUI and roadside sanctions cases. If you are looking for a DUI lawyer in Calgary or anywhere in Alberta, call for a free telephone consultation.