Police Did Not Witness Driving
There was no evidence before the court that the accused had been or was the driver.
The accused was charged with Impaired Driving Care and Control. The police did not witness the driving. There was a lack of evidence to prove the accused was the actual driver.
The trial judge ruled that the mere fact that someone is found with the vehicle is not conclusive evidence that they were the driver and are guilty of Impaired Driving.
Justice R. Ritchie
Heard on June 22, 2012
The accused, was accused of Impaired Driving while having care or control of a motor vehicle and while her blood alcohol level exceeded 80 Milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood.
In light of concessions made by the defense, there was only one issue a trial, namely was there evidence that the accused had the care of control of the motor vehicle in question or even whether she had been driving it.
As the trial progressed, it became apparent that “care or control” was not an issue, and the question was, whether the defendant had been driving the vehicle.
The Crown had a strong case. The Honda Civic was parked in an exit lane on the Gardiner Expressway, and one tire was shredded off.
Officer St. Clair of the Toronto Police spoke with the defendant who was sitting in a dark SUV near the Honda.
After the police arrived the male driver of the SUV soon left the scene in his vehicle.
Officer St. Clair reasonably inferred from the circumstances that the defendant had been driving the Honda Civic. The officer did not specifically ask the defendant if she had been driving, but it was implicit in the defendant’s answers to the officer’s questions that she had been driving.
The accused testified, however, that she had not been driving the Honda, but her boyfriend had been the driver. The two of them had been arguing and after the problem with the tire, her boyfriend stopped the vehicle, became very angry and walked away from the vehicle, leaving her at the scene.
The defendant said that her boyfriend would have been even angrier if she had told the police about his involvement, because he had reasons for avoiding the police.
The accused’s testimony together with the corroborating evidence as given by her friend and by her boyfriend, leaves a reasonable doubt in my mind as to whether the defendant was driving the vehicle. There was a lack of evidence to prove the accused guilty of impaired driving.
As a result, there will be a finding of not guilty.
Case won by Toronto Criminal Lawyer Nicholas Charitsis due to a lack of evidence.