Drunk driving: example of an acquittal
A client charged with operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level greater than 80 mg/100 mL is acquitted. The defence’s theory of the case rested on the inability of the Crown to benefit from the presumption of identity.
The blood alcohol level is only presumed reliable to the extent that the Crown is able to establish beyond a reasonable doubt that, as specified in Section 258(1)c) of the Criminal Code:
- each sample was taken
- as soon as it was reasonably possible to do so after the moment when the offence was committed and;
- in the case of the first sample, no more than two hours after this moment, the others having been at intervals of at least fifteen minutes.
In this particular case, it was found that the Crown was unable to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the sample had been taken within two hours of the commission of the offence. The client thus benefitted from the presumption of innocence and was acquitted.