Impaired Driving: Lawyer Gariépy Challenges Breathlyser Results
Pascale is not a lucky woman. She has been arrested for impaired driving two times in a few months. The first time she was charged of being in care and control of her vehicle while having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration of alcohol in her blood exceeded 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood (in fact, she had 225 mg of alcohol which is more than the double of the legal limit). The second time, she was charged of impaired driving and refusal to provide a breath sample. (in fact, she provided a first sample with a result of 287 mg of alcohol and then refused to blow again.)
However, even with the strong evidence against her considering the high results, the police officers made the same mistake twice in both cases. These mistakes were fatal to the prosecution case, and Pascale was acquitted both times. Indeed, in spite of the fact that, when the police officers placed her under arrest, they had, beforehand, noticed several symptoms of weakened capacities (inconsistent statements, pasty language, red eyes), they forgot both times to notice an essential element before the arrest: the breath of alcohol coming from the accused!
Without this essential element (or a statement by the accused admitting the alcohol consumption), the police officers could not have reasonable grounds to believe that the weakened capacities were due to alcohol consumption. Without sufficient grounds, an arrest becomes illegal, and all evidence obtained afterward (breathalyzer results, observation of other symptoms related to alcohol consumption etc.) can be excluded from the trial. This is how, in two different trials, Me Benoît Gariépy was able to acquit Pascal from the charges against her
Written judgment available if requested.