Ontario DUI Cases - Impaired Driving Defence Centre
Is it worth fighting DUI charges in Ontario?
At the Impaired Driving Defence Centre, Christopher A. Avery takes your privacy very seriously. He also understands the curiosity of potential clients regarding our track record. For these reasons we have changed identifying details of the below cases in order to protect our clients’ privacy. We do not post the reported decisions of our clients’ cases as they are findable on a google search by name if I reproduce them here.
Please know that all cases are different and that past results on someone else’s case are not a guarantee of a favourable outcome for yours.
Please find a very small sample below of some of more recent successful cases:
A day at the pool
Our client in Kitchener was a delightful senior with no criminal record. She consumed a number of glasses of wine at a friend’s pool and drove home. She was pulled over for speeding and upon being asked about providing a roadside screening device she advised the officer “you might as well arrest me because I’m going to fail anyways.” The officer obliged her and arrested her without conducting the test. She blew 130 at the police station.
Following a contested trial, all the evidence was excluded and she was acquitted on the basis that her Charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure as well as unlawful arrest or detention were violated. Given the layperson’s lack of understanding of what a ‘fail’ on a roadside screening device means, the officer ought to have known better than to rely on this in order to make the arrest.
While showing off to his teenaged nephew, a client crashed his brand new sports car going around a gravel covered turn in the country in northern Ontario. The client sent his nephew back home and spent an hour waiting for the tow truck. When he realized that the vehicle was inoperable and that he had a six-pack of beer in the trunk he decided to sit in the ditch and drink beer while he waited for the tow truck. Unfortunately for the client the police arrived prior to the tow truck. The client blew over the limit.
All criminal charges against the client were withdrawn without a trial following extensive pretrial work in which we demonstrated to the Crown’s satisfaction that the post-operation drinking would have placed the client’s BAC under the legal limit at the relevant time.
The quick drive home:
In small-town eastern Ontario, our client left a bar having just finished his last beer. He lived approximately three minutes away from the bar. He was pulled over within a minute of starting to drive. An officer smelled alcohol on his breath and arrested him. Upon a lawful demand, the client provided two samples of his breath, each being slightly over the limit. Following a hotly contested three-day trial involving the calling of expert toxicological evidence demonstrating that he would not have been over the limit at the time of driving as his last drink had not yet been digested, the client was acquitted of both impaired driving and operation while over 80. This was a successful application of what is colloquially known as the “last-drink defence”.
It’s never hopeless:
In northwestern Ontario the client was driving home from a friend’s house in his truck. He threw up on himself while driving on the trans-Canada highway and had pulled over to clean the vomit from his clothes. An officer approached the vehicle, unnoticed by the client, and detected the strong odour of an alcoholic beverage and what were described as obvious symptoms of intoxication. Following his arrest the client’s BAC was in excess of 240 mg of alcohol in 100mL of blood.
Unfortunately, despite what was apparently an overwhelming Crown case, the client was working a lucrative job in an industry that required his access to motor vehicles. Attempting to win was the only option.
Thirty minutes into Mr. Avery’s cross-examination of the arresting officer the Crown withdrew all criminal charges.
More effort please:
After leaving a gala, the client and a friend were driving home. He was stopped for allegedly rolling through a stop sign. Upon being stopped, the police smelled alcohol and made a roadside screening device demand. The client failed the test and was arrested. The client requested to speak to his spouse in order to obtain a lawyer’s name and number. Following a half-hearted attempt by the officer to call his spouse, the client said ‘forget it, I’ll just blow.”He blew over the limit at the station and was charged with over 80. Following an often forgotten but still-binding precedent of the Supreme Court of Canada, the breath readings were excluded. The police are required to provide a special caution when a person changes their mind about the exercise of their right to counsel.
Still more effort please:
In Thunder Bay, a client was arrested for drinking and driving. He requested to speak to counsel, but upon being foiled trying to call a few local lawyers from the station, just gave up and provided a breath sample without speaking to counsel. As per the same precedent above, the charges were dismissed after the breath samples were excluded.
In the Hamilton Region, at the St. Catharines Courthouse, a client had all of their criminal charges withdrawn as they were not offered an interpreter during the investigation process despite having only minimal conversational English.
A low blow:
In Thunder Bay, a client had all criminal charges withdrawn following extensive negotiations with the Crown Attorney regarding her humanitarian circumstances. Further, she was refused access to a bathroom during an extensive investigation and delay in entering the police station. She suffered an accident during the investigation and was not allowed to clean herself up for an extended period of time. After months of tough negotiating, all criminal charges were withdrawn.
Back to school:
A young Egyptian man was allowed to plead guilty to careless driving in exchange for a withdrawal of all criminal charges. Mr. Avery was able to convince the Niagara Crown Attorney that this was the just outcome given the circumstances of his arrest and his status as a young student with no criminal record.
A young man in the Newmarket Courthouse was arrested while sleeping in his running car in the middle of an intersection. The police arrived, indicated they smelled a strong smell of alcohol, and arrested the client immediately for impaired operation. Marihuana was found in the centre console. At the station, the client blew the limit, rather than over. However, he was charged with impaired driving based upon his presentation at the scene. Further, the Crown attempted to call an expert toxicologist to testify that despite blowing under 80, the accused would still have been impaired.
On the trial date, all criminal charges were withdrawn against the client based upon delay pressures and the inability of the Crown to call their expert witness to prove impairment.
A rough RIDE:
In Fort Frances, a client entered a RIDE program where he admitted to having consumed alcohol. He provided a roadside sample, failed and was arrested. He blew over the limit at the police station. As a result of pretrial negotiations with the prosecution regarding the strength of their case and the motions to exclude the evidence filed by the defence team, all criminal charges against the client were withdrawn the morning of trial.
A client in Quinte West (Trenton) was out drinking with some friends on the shoreline. She got in an argument with her boyfriend when he left the campfire in the park and she drove off looking for him. Her driving was described by various people in town as erratic and she was shouting at her boyfriend out the open window. She drove back to the campfire, chugged their vodka, and began walking down the park path. She was stopped by police and arrested for impaired. She blew more than double the legal limit.
Following a trial, the client was acquitted of all charges as the defence was able to raise a reasonable doubt as to the identity of the driver of the vehicle as well as raise a doubt as to whether the alcohol was consumed before or after the driving.
Almost French Fried:
The client, who was a government employee was arrested for impaired following a late night trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru. She was processed at the scene and provided samples of her breath which were over the legal limit. Through extensive negotiations leading up to the trial date, focussed both on humanitarian grounds as well as her legal defences, all criminal charges were withdrawn against the client, allowing her to keep her job in the federal government.
The client, who lived in Canada near Windsor but worked in Detroit, was randomly stopped during a RIDE check. She blew slightly over the limit. Following a close analysis of her disclosure, all criminal charges were withdrawn.
The client, upon leaving a family event, lost control of his vehicle and struck a guardrail in front of witnesses. His vehicle was inoperable. He was brought back to the police station and charged in the Newmarket Courthouse with Over 80 and Impaired Operation. On the morning of the trial, Mr. Avery advised the Crown that the breath samples were taken just outside the two hour limit. All criminal charges were withdrawn.
Christopher A. Avery
A driver stopped by the police engages several potential Charter issues.
The motorist’s detention invokes s. 9 (arbitrary detention), s. 10(a) (right to be informed of the reason why) and s. 10(b) the right to counsel. Furthermore, the officer’s search for evidence is generally warrantless and raises s. 8 issues relating to unreasonable search and seizure.
The accused is also entitled to full disclosure (s. 7 fundamental justice) as well as the right to be tried within a reasonable time (s. 11B). Against this constitutional background these cases can be fought and won. Many cases also turn on common investigative lapses that a skilled counsel can exploit.
it must be remembered that you are presumed innocent until proven guilty and the Crown bears the heavy burden of proving all essential elements of the case beyond a reasonable doubt. Given the heavy penalties involved you owe it to yourself to seek the best possible representation from an experienced lawyer with a record of defending these types of cases. If you are uncertain about your rights and need to win the case to keep your licence and avoid a criminal record then why not call the Impaired Driving Defence Centre? Our initial consultation is always free and IDDC colleagues can speak with you, promptly.