Nov 29

Impaired driving (DUIs) and over 80 criminal cases have become highly technical and specialized over the years. In your matter, the Crown will rely on one or two police officers. The court will need to undertake an evaluation into whether those police officers followed the requirements of the Criminal Code and respected your Charter rights. If they did not fully comply, it could lead to you beating your Toronto DUI charge.

The Initial Traffic Stop

Pursuant to section 216 of the Highway Traffic Act, the police are allowed to pull over a motor vehicle for vehicle-related purposes or to check the sobriety of a driver. If there is a criminal purpose behind the stop or a criminal investigation starts during the traffic stop, the police are required to provide you with the reasons for the stop (section 10(a) of the Charter).

Improper ASD Demand

The Criminal Code requires the police to immediately provide an ASD demand (a demand for alcohol screening). If the demand does not meet the immediately requirement, it can constitute a breach of your Charter rights and you can apply to exclude evidence stemming from the breach.

Improper Breath Demand

After you have been arrested, the police must advise you of the arrest, provide you rights to counsel, and read you a breath demand. A breath demand must be ‘as soon as practicable,’ and if the demand is not, it could constitute a breach of your Charter and you can apply to exclude evidence. The ‘as soon as practicable’ requirement is more flexible than the immediacy requirement for the ASD demand.

Errors in Rights to Counsel

The Charter requires the police to provide you with rights to counsel if you are detained or are under arrest. Rights to counsel has an informational and implementation requirement. The informational requirement involves the police advising you of your rights to counsel. The implementation requirement involves the police putting you in contact with counsel. If the police make errors to the information or implementation requirements, it will be a breach of your s. 10(b) Charter rights which could lead to the exclusion of the evidence.

Language Errors

When you are charged with a DUI, or any criminal charge, you must understand what is happening. If English is a second language and there is a language barrier, the police are required to ensure you understand. This is typically accomplished by providing an interpreter to provide translation to a language of your choice. If the police fail to do so, you can raise this as a triable issue or a Charter issue.

Police Station Errors

The police must respect your Charter rights while you are at the police station. The police sometimes make errors. Examples of errors they may make include if they conduct an improper strip search during the booking process, if the police surveillance in the police cells records you in a state of undress, or the police fail to release you in a reasonable time (‘overholding’). If one or more of these errors are made, you can apply to stay your DUI charge or to exclude evidence from your trial.

Too Much Delay

The prosecution and the Court have 18-months to conclude your case if you proceed in the Ontario Court of Justice. If the delay exceeds 18 months, you can argue that the police breached your section 11(b) Charter rights which will lead to the stay of your DUI charge is sucsessful.

Toronto DUI Lawyers

A DUI charge is a serious matter. It is important when facing a DUI charge to choose an experienced Toronto DUI lawyer. Lockyer Zaduk Zeeh has a roster of experienced Toronto DUI lawyers. Call us at 416-613-0416 to schedule a consultation.