Client drove through a check stop. RCMP officer formed a reasonable suspicion that client had alcohol in his body. This allowed officer to demand a breath sample in the roadside screening device. Client provided a sample and failed. Client arrested for impaired driving. Client provided breath samples at the police station, in the range of 110 mg%. Client was charged with impaired driving and driving while over .08. Rather than release the client and allow him to take a taxi back to camp, the officer put him in the drunk tank. Client held in drunk tank for approximately 5 hours before being released. At trial it was evident that client exhibited few to no symptoms of being impaired by alcohol and that any suggestion that he needed to be placed in cells for his own safety or the safety of the public was without merit. Officer testified that the reason that she put the client in the drunk tank was that it was RCMP policy to do so in all impaired cases unless a sober friend or relative could pick up the individual. Trial judge agreed with the defence argument that this was a violation of client’s s. 9 Charter right to be free from arbitrary detention. Trial Judge excluded the breath results in respect of the over .08 charge and entered a stay of proceedings with respect to the impaired charge.
July 3, 2013