R. v. B.S. [Provincial Court, Fort McLeod, March 2017]

B.S. was charged with impaired driving and refusal to provide a breath sample. A concerned motorist contacted the police to report that a transport truck was all over the road and had nearly caused several accidents. She believed the driver to be impaired. The police conducted a traffic stop, made inquiries and arrested B.S. for impaired driving. He was brought back to the police detachment to give breath samples. B.S.’s first language was not English and he insisted on having an interpreter present and that he would not provide a sample until that time. According to the police, they provided him an interpreter at which point B.S. faked a seizure to avoid giving breath samples. He was charged with refusal/ failure to provide a breath sample. B.S. required his driver’s license to make a living and was subject to the Provincial driver’s license suspension. Ms. Fagan sought permission from the Court to schedule a “special sitting” so that the trial could be heard as soon as possible. Additionally, Ms. Fagan made several requests for disclosure from the Crown that by the trial date had gone unanswered. At trial, Ms. Fagan argued that she could not proceed to trial without the disclosure requested and that it would unfair to her client if the matter was rescheduled so that the Crown could provide the disclosure that ought to have been provided already.

BOTTOM LINE: Ms. Fagan provided extensive written materials to the Judge, who ultimately ruled in her favor by staying (i.e. withdrawing) the charges against her client. B.S.’s license was reinstated immediately and he did not incur a criminal record for the impaired driving or refusal charges.

Patrick Fagan

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