In Canada, the Criminal Code makes it a criminal offence to be in care and control of a motor vehicle. At a trial, the Crown would need to prove that you were in a position within the vehicle in which you could have driven it while impaired. A conviction for care and control results in the same consequences as other related driving offences such as ‘over 80’, impaired driving, and refusing a breathalyzer or blood sample.
What Does Care and Control Mean?
The Supreme Court of Canada addressed the meaning of care and control in 2012. The majority of the Court found care and control requires three elements:
- “An intentional course of conduct associated with a motor vehicle”
- “By a person whose ability to drive is impaired, or whose blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit”
- “In circumstances that create a realistic risk of danger to persons or property”
The Supreme Court of Canada held that a realistic risk can still be established even if the individual does not have the intention to drive. For example, although an intoxicated person sitting in the driver’s seat with the vehicle turned on or in possession of the keys may not have the intention to drive the vehicle, they could very well change their mind and decide to drive. Another example is an intoxicated person may accidently put a vehicle in motion.
Based on their ruling the majority of the Court found that a realistic risk is present anytime an intoxicated person has care and control of a vehicle. However, there is a rebuttable presumption which means that an accused person must produce “credible and reliable evidence” that demonstrates there was no realistic risk of danger.
Brampton Impaired Driving Lawyers?
All driving offences can have a serious impact on your livelihood, career, and future. Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh understand this and work to ensure you have the best defence possible. We are experienced at representing people charged with impaired driving offences and are successful in ensuring our clients avoid a criminal record and a driving suspension. If you are charged in Brampton or Mississauga with a DUI, contact Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh at 416-613-0416 to schedule a consultation.