Drug trial. Vehicle search. Accused stopped in a checkstop. Police officer leaned into accused’s vehicle and smelled burned marihuana. Accused was then placed under investigative detention and was removed from the vehicle. Baggie of cocaine then seen in “plain view” between the driver’s seat and console.

Held: Section 8 and 9 breach. Evidence excluded.

As per Schwab, 2015 ABPC 180, “the demand of a driver to alight the vehicle in an investigative detention can only be justified if there is a legitimate reason to do so, usually out of safety concerns.” The officer’s actions of sticking his head into the accused’s vehicle, and looking around with a flashlight, constituted a search. The warrantless search of the vehicle during the investigative detention was unlawful. Serious Charter breaches that warranted exclusion of the drugs found.

J. Blumer – Defence Counsel