Winning DUI & Other Driving Cases

These include the criminal offence of Dangerous Driving, Street Racing, Impaired Driving, DWI, DUI, Criminal Negligence and so forth. They all carry penalties that include license suspensions and so if your license is important to you, then it is extremely important to have counsel involved right from the start of the process.

Negotiated Pleas

The following clients were able to have me negotiate with the Crown guilty pleas to drinking and driving offences that resulted in 90 day suspensions rather than a full year plus a further year with an ignition interlock device in their car. This is a new program that became available to eligible clients on August 3, 2010 and makes it imperative that clients retain me prior to their first court appearance:

R.V.B. (Brampton Court, September 2010); R.V.N. (Brampton Court, October 2010); R.V.B. (Brampton Court, September 2010); R.V.D. (Brampton Court, October 2010); R.V.S. (Simcoe Court, September 2010); R.V.W. (Hamilton Court, August 2010); R. v. S. (Brampton Court, November, 2010); R. v. G. (Brampton Court, December, 2010).

Other Experience With Impaired Driving Cases

There is no doubt that these cases are becoming more difficult to successfully defend; the courts and Parliament have heeded the public's concern about drinking and driving and have eliminated many technical defenses that were previously available. However, the courts still have a backlog problem which often works in the client's favor and police officers are still susceptible to well organized and thoughtful cross-examination. It is hoped that the few recent cases that I have successfully defended and summarized here will encourage you to seek out advice whenever charged with one of these offences.

More 2016 Driving Offences
3 out of 4 cases resulted in no criminal record.
3 withdrawal of charges.
1 received fine and probation when facing jail time.
R. v. A. - Dangerous Driving and Fail to Remain
Factual Background: Client was driving three of his young cousins to Wonderland. When he attempted to turn right he collided with a pedestrian who received minor injuries. The client then drove forward in an attempt to pull into the parking lot so that his vehicle was not blocking the live lane of traffic. A citizen was concerned that he was fleeing the scene, and cut him off. Police arrived and decided that he had been attempting to flee the scene and charged him with both dangerous driving and failing to remain at the scene of an accident.

Strategy: I had the client take photographs of the area and provide an overhead view of the area from Google Maps, and mark on there exactly where he had struck the pedestrian and how far it was to the entrance to the parking lot where he was headed. I also pulled out a portion of the concerned citizen's statement to show to the Crown in which the client had said to this person "I'm not leaving, I'm just trying to get my car out of the way, please follow me into the parking lot." The Crown had not been aware of that statement. I was also able to convince the Crown that this was merely an accident at a very busy intersection.

Decision/Outcome: Both criminal charges of Dangerous Driving and Fail to Remain at the scene of an accident were withdrawn by the Crown and the client pled guilty to the Highway Traffic offence of failing to yield the right of way to a pedestrian, and received a $200 fine.
R. v. C. - Dangerous Driving and Assault
Factual Background: Client became involved in a road rage incident with another driver in which the client was seen cutting off the other driver and ultimately getting into a physical confrontation with the other driver after the vehicles had collided.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that this was out of character for my client, and that he did not have a major anger problem.

Decision/Outcome: The Crown agreed to allow the client to plead guilty to careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act. Both criminal charges were withdrawn, and the client agreed to attend for anger management counselling.
R. v. H. - Over 80
Factual Background: Client had been in a minor accident in which his car ended up sliding off the roadway at a casino into a ditch area. Police were called and investigated, upon which it was determined that he was driving over the legal limit. My client had a previous conviction for drinking and driving three years prior, which meant that he was facing a minimum sentence of thirty days in jail if convicted of this offence.

Strategy: There were a few legal issues with respect to the arrest of my client and a potential violation of his right to a lawyer, and I chose to alert the Crown to those issues.

Decision/Outcome: The Crown agreed that there were potential legal arguments that they could lose at trial. We set the matter for a judicial pre-trial, advised the pre-trial judge of the issues, and it was agreed that the client would not receive the mandatory minimum jail sentence but rather would receive a fine and probation.
R. v. K. - Over 80
Factual Background: Client was stopped driving home after a hockey game and failed the roadside screening device, and ultimately blew over the legal limit at the police station.

Strategy: I retained the services of a toxicologist and told him that the client had finished a pint of beer just before leaving the arena, and as a result of that the toxicologist was able to say that at the time of driving, the client was not over the legal limit even though his readings at the police station put him over the legal limit.

Decision/Outcome: The Crown agreed to withdraw the criminal charge if the client plead to careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act which he did.
2015-2016 Driving Offences **5 Cases**
R. v. P. (2016 Brampton) - Excess Blood Alcohol Over 80
Factual Background: At a traffic stop my client was asked to perform a breathalyser test, the results of which indicated he had an excess blood alcohol level. He was charged with excess blood alcohol over 80.

Strategy: To demonstrate that this incident was out of character for my client. He admitted to having been drinking the night before, and his arrest occurred the next day in the afternoon; as such he believed it was safe for him to drive. If my client received a criminal record, he would be unable to keep his job at the hospital due to the required police record checks.

Decision/Outcome: The Crown allowed my client to plead guilty to careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act and the criminal charge of Over 80 was withdrawn.
R. v. G. (2016 Brampton) - Dangerous Driving and Assault
Factual Background: My client was driving, there was some sort of traffic incident between him and the complainant. This resulted in my client weaving in and out of traffic and cutting off the complainant's vehicle. He ultimately exited his vehicle and got into a physical altercation with the complainant, resulting in his being charged with dangerous driving and assault.

Strategy: I was able to convince the Crown that this was out of character for my client and that he works at the airport which requires frequent security checks to demonstrate that he is criminal-record free.

Decision/Outcome: The Crown agreed to withdraw both criminal charges on a guilty plea to careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act with a term of probation under the Provincial Offences Act where he would have no contact with the complainant and undergo counselling for anger management
R. v. E. (2016 Brampton) - Over 80 and Possession of Cocaine
Factual Background: My client was driving home at eight o'clock in the morning after partying with his friends the night before. He had no idea that his blood alcohol was still over the legal limit. He was stopped and he did in fact blow over the legal limit, and was subsequently arrested. Upon arrest, the police discovered cocaine in his socks.

Strategy: I was able to convince the federal prosecutor to withdraw the drug charges because this was a one-off situation and that he did not normally use drugs. My client came from a very supportive and good family. I also informed the federal prosecutor that my client would be pleading guilty to the charge of over 80, which he did.

Decision/Outcome: Client received the minimum fine for over 80 and a three month driving suspension. By having the drug charges withdrawn, I was able to save my client's ability to cross the border to the United States.
R. v. C. (2015 Orangeville) - Impaired/Over 80
Factual Background: My client was charged with impaired and over 80; it was his third offence, which meant he was facing a statutory minimum sentence of four months in jail.

Strategy: I conducted a pre-trial with a judge and was able to convince both the Crown and the judge that there were issues regarding the police officer's conduct in relation to my client, which meant the Crown would have some difficulty in proving the case.

Decision/Outcome: It was agreed that my client would receive a thirty day sentence to be served on weekends, so that he could keep his job.
R. v. S. (2015 Brampton) - Over 80 Causing Bodily Harm
Factual Background: My client was charged with over 80 after he struck and badly injured a pedestrian. It was dark outside and raining at the time of the incident. My client stopped immediately, police attended, and ultimately my client was arrested and samples of his breath were tested. Ultimately the tests revealed that his blood alcohol level was over the legal limit.

Strategy: At trial, I was able to show that the arresting officer was completely biased against my client because he was of East Indian descent and the officer made unjustified assumptions about him based on the colour of his skin. I was then able to show that this officer had no proper grounds for arresting my client. In addition to that, I was able to cross-examine the injured party, and show him to be a complete liar. He claimed he had been at a party where he had only one glass of wine; however, when his blood alcohol levels were tested at the hospital they were more than three times the legal limit. The injured party had a memory of only the things that would advance his interests in the civil case and nothing else. Decision/Outcome: As a result, my client's breath readings were excluded from evidence and he was found not guilty.
2014-2015 Driving Offences **9 Cases**
4 of the 9 cases resulted in no criminal record.
5 of the 9 cases resulted in a criminal record; 1 intermittent sentence, 3 fines with probation, and 1 driving prohibition.
R. v. R.W. - Dangerous Driving; Assault with a Weapon
Factual Background: Mr. W was involved in a domestic incident with his wife of 13 years; there had been prior domestic occurrences but no charges. Following a verbal argument Mr. W followed his wife in his vehicle and hit the back of her car several times resulting in an accident in which he lost control of his vehicle and hit the front porch of a neighbouring house

Strategy: to demonstrate that Mr. W was taking actions to address his issues and attempts at remediation; suggested that he attend the Partner Assault Response Program, probation, counselling for anger management issues

Decision/Outcome: Received an intermittent sentence of 14 days to be served on weekends
R. v. D.R. - Impaired, Excess Blood Alcohol, Fail to Remain
Factual Background: Mr. R was alleged to have driven his vehicle, knocked over a light standard, kept travelling for 1.5 km trailing engine oil, and then stopped in a parking lot; police went to accident scene then tracked oil to parking lot where they found Mr. R standing outside the vehicle. The officer did not ask any questions other than "are you okay" prior to arresting him

Strategy: Filed a Charter motion alleging his arrest was unlawful as the officer did not have proper grounds to arrest and therefore breath readings would be inadmissible as well as any admissions by Mr. R after the arrest that he was in fact the driver

Decision/Outcome: Judge found there was a breach of Mr. R's rights and that to then admit the evidence would bring the administration of justice into disrepute, all evidence was excluded, Mr. R was acquitted
R. v. K.S. - Over 80 Causing Bodily Harm
Factual Background: This was a situation in which Mr. S struck a pedestrian at night. Police were called and he blew over the legal limit.

Strategy: At trial, during cross examination of the complainant, he swore up and down that he had only consumed 1 glass of wine and yet his blood alcohol level was more than 3 times the legal limit. His credibility was, as a result, shot. During cross examination of the police officers it became clear that the arresting officer had made up his mind that Mr. S was guilty of drinking and driving without any consideration being given to any other evidence. In fact, when Mr. S who is a diabetic told the officer this, the officer said in court under oath that he considered that to be "bullshit".

Decision/Outcome: Needless to say, the judge was not impressed with the officer's testimony and as a result, there was a breach of Mr. S's rights, and the readings were excluded from evidence. There was also no proof that Mr. S has caused the bodily harm to the pedestrian because he had clearly lied about how much he'd had to drink. As a result, it became open to believe that Mr. S was driving through a green light when this individual stumbled out from behind a parked car. As a result of all this, Mr. S was acquitted.
R. v. W.C. - Impaired Driving
Plead to impaired (over 80)

Received a $1300 fine and a 3 month driving prohibition despite the crowns initial position of a short jail sentence
R. v. H.D. - Stunt Driving
Plea to speeding

Pay fine in 4 months
R. v. T.Q. - Impaired, Over 80, And Driving Disqualified
Pled to over 80 - all other charges were withdrawn

30 day intermittent sentence - this was his third offence requiring a minimum sentence of four months but I was able to convince the crown and judge to treat this a second offence because of the changes he had made in his life

2 years driving probation;
Probation for 1 year
R. v. L.F. - Drive Disqualified, Drive Under Suspension
Plea to disqualified driving

30 day intermittent sentence (crown position had been 4 months in jail because of his record)
Driving prohibition for 2 years
R. v. M.S. - Impaired/Over 80
Criminal charges were withdrawn, probation order, driving suspension - was able to convince the crown to accept a guilty plea to careless driving under the HTA
2012 and older cases
R. v. C. (Brampton Court, October 2012)
Factual Background: Client was charged with excess blood alcohol and careless driving, as she was supposedly driving over the speed limit following a night at the bar.

Strategy: To prove this was an out-of-character incident for my client, that she was extremely remorseful of her actions and co-operative with the officers, and that the toxicology readings provided were incorrect. To have the excess blood alcohol charges withdrawn, had my client plead guilty to careless driving.

Decision/Outcome: Client pleaded guilty to careless driving, and received probation for 12 months under the provincial offences act.
R. v. S. (Brampton Court, April 2012)
Factual Background: Client was charged with impaired driving after a civilian called the police. He was then taken to the hospital by police where he failed a breathalyzer test. My client had extremely high levels of alcohol in his blood – almost five times the legal limit.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that my client was seeking counseling and help for his alcohol problem; keep him out of jail and minimize his suspension.

Decision/Outcome: Although he was facing jail time with the high levels of alcohol in his system, he got one year probation with alcohol counseling; a fine; and a 90 day license suspension followed by 9 months with an ignition interlock system in his car.
R. v. C. (Oshawa Court, February 2012)
Factual Background: While driving home from university exams, client was pulled over by police and charges with impaired driving over 80 mgs, despite the fact she had not been drinking for several hours.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that this was out of character for my client: she was training to be a nurse at Trent University, and was an excellent student. Attempted to convince the Crown that she should plead guilty to dangerous driving for a conditional discharge.

Decision/Outcome: Client was given a conditional discharge on the offense of dangerous driving and the impaired and over 80 charges were withdrawn.
R. v. S. (Brampton Court, January 2012)
Factual Background: After a relationship ended on bad terms, client went to the home of her ex-boyfriend and sat outside in her car, despite court conditions that prohibited communication between them. The police were called, and my client was charged with criminal harassment and impaired driving of over 80 mgs.

Strategy: To set a trial date in the hopes that there was an error made in the prosecution of the case, and when the case reached trial, there were no witnesses that had been subpoenaed as a result of an administrative error. The Crown was going to seek an adjournment, but the judge intervened and told the Crown and myself to have a discussion about resolving the case.

Decision/Outcome: Charges of criminal harassment were withdrawn with a peace bond, and the client was allowed to plead guilty to careless driving with a six month restriction that allowed her to drive only for work purposes; the over 80 charge was withdrawn.
R. v. T. (Brampton Court, December 2011)
Factual Background: After operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, my client resisted arrest from a police officer who attempted to stop him. Client was charged with impaired driving, over 80, and resisting arrest.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that this was out of character for my client; he had just gone through a serious breakup of a long-term relationship and was feeling upset. He was not a regular drinker, but was out with friends and had had way too much to drink, but this was not the norm for him.

Decision/Outcome: Crown accepted my defense after having provided various letters and material to them and they agreed to withdraw the assault police charge and my client pled guilty to the over 80 charge, and received a fine and a 90 day license suspension followed by interlock for 9 months.
R. v. M. (Brampton Court, December 2011)
Factual Background: After hitting a vehicle in the Peel Regional Police parking lot, and then exiting the parking lot, my client was charged with failure to remain at the scene of an accident.

Strategy: To convince the Crown that this was, in fact, such a minor accident that it did not deserve criminal prosecution, because there was virtually no damage done.

Decision/Outcome: All charges were withdrawn.
R. v. J. (Collingwood Court, November 2011)
Factual Background: After consuming alcohol during the day, my client was pulled over by police and charged with over 80 operation of a motor vehicle.

Strategy: I was able to obtain a toxicologist's report that indicated that because of the timing of my client's last drink, he was not over the legal limit at the time of driving, even though he was over the legal limit at the time of his breath test (this is because his last drink had not yet been absorbed into his bloodstream at the time of driving and was therefore not over the legal limit).

Decision/Outcome: The Crown agreed to withdraw the criminal charge on a guilty plea to careless driving under the Highway Traffic Act.
R. v. K (Brampton Court, March 2011)
Factual Background: Client was charged with impaired driving and over 80 mgs after being involved in a motor vehicle collision while under the influence of alcohol.

Strategy: My client had admitted to being the driver of the vehicle at the time of the accident to the police officer. If that statement was admitted against him in court, he would have had no defense. I successfully argued that he provided that statement to the police officer only because he was obligated to do so under the Highway Traffic Act and therefor it could not be used against him in criminal proceedings. I then further argued that since my client's rights had been violated at the start of the investigation, and observations by the police officer should also be excluded.

Decision/Outcome: The judge agreed with my submissions and the statement and all police observations were excluded and my client was acquitted.
R. v. M. (Brampton Court, March 2010)
Factual Background: After being involved in a motor vehicle accident, my client was asked to give a breath sample. When my client could not provide a suitable breath sample, the police believed he was being uncooperative and charged him with refusal of breath sample.

Strategy: To convince the judge through both cross-examination of the officer and testimony by my client that he had no intention of refusing to provide a sample. He had been injured in the car accident and was trying his best.

Decision/Outcome: The judge agreed, or at the very least had a reasonable doubt about his intention, and my client was found not guilty.
R. v. S. (Brampton Ct., March 2010)
Factual Background: The client was stopped by the police and investigated for Drinking and Driving. The police smelled alcohol on his breath and demanded that he provide a sample of his breath into a road-side screening device. The client spoke limited English and his first language was Tamil. The police tried to contact a Tamil speaking officer but did not get one. The client made 10 attempts to blow into the device within a 6 minute period but none of the attempts were successful and he was arrested for refusing to provide a sample.

The Strategy: To show that the officer had not acted reasonably and that the client had not purposely refused. The officer reluctantly admitted that the client was trying to blow into the device and that the client’s first language was clearly not English. The police officer further admitted that he did not make much of an effort to get a Tamil speaking officer to assist. He made a demand of the client and arrested him just 6 minutes later.

Decision/Outcome : The Judge agreed that in the circumstances of this case, he could not be satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that the client was wilfully refusing to provide a sample of his breath and was not convinced that the demand was lawful given the officer’s actions that I clarified during my cross-examination. As a result, the client was found not guilty.
R. v. X. (Toronto Ct., February 2010)
Factual Background: Client was stopped by a police officer who said he smelled alcohol on the client’s breath and made a demand for him to provide a sample of his breath into a roadside screening device. The client said “I refuse! I don’t trust these damn machines”. As a result of the client’s comments, he was charged with refusing to provide a sample of his breath.

The Strategy: Since the client had clearly refused that demand, and since the offence carries a minimum penalty of $1,000.00 fine and a driving prohibition for 1 year, we had to find a way to show that the officer’s demand was not lawful. If the demand is not lawful, a person is entitled to refuse.

Decision/Outcome : My cross-examination of the police officer showed that he had not acted reasonably and as a result his demand was not reasonable and therefore not lawful. The client was found not guilty despite having clearly refused.
R. v. S. (Brampton Superior Ct., August 2009)
Factual Background: The client was charged with Criminal Negligence Causing Bodily Harm. The client ran over a person who had approached him about buying drugs. The client was not a drug-dealer and the victim was intoxicated and had several friends with him. The client became nervous and attempted to drive away but the victim either held on or got caught and was being dragged beside the client’s car. The victim was slammed against a parked vehicle and suffered serious injuries.

The Strategy: The client’s actions could not be justified because he never did stop and kept driving faster. We needed to find a way to convince the Crown that although the client’s actions were not justified the victim was not blameless. We conducted a judicial pre-trial in which it was agreed that the client would receive a jail sentence that he could serve at home under strict conditions. This would allow him to keep his job and to continue his schooling.

Decision/Outcome: Client pleaded guilty and received a sentence of house arrest.
R. v. JA. Ontario Court of Justice, Old City Hall Court, 2009
Factual Background: Mr. J. was pulled over after the officer became suspicious of his driving on the 401. The client failed the roadside screening test and was taken back to the police station where he provided samples of his breath resulting in readings of 120 and 130.

The Strategy: Know the evidence perfectly because there was no obvious defense available and we would need to uncover one in the course of the trial.

Decision/Outcome: Client acquitted of both charges. The police officer was inexperienced and became very argumentative during my cross-examination. I then used his unwillingness to concede even the most minor of points to discredit him and then uncover that he had violated my client’s right to be secure against unreasonable searches. The judge agreed with all of my submissions; found the officer had violated my client’s rights and did not believe the officer’s testimony.
R. v. T. Ontario Court of Justice, Milton Ct., 2009
Factual Background: Client failed a roadside screening test and then back at the station provided 2 breath samples that were twice the legal limit.

The Strategy: There was a clear problem with the times that were recorded in the officer’s notes and that problem resulted in a breach of my client’s rights. I had to decide if I would tell the Crown about the problem or just set a trial date. I decided to tell the Crown in a pre-trial meeting.

Decision/Outcome: Charge withdrawn by the Crown.
R. v. B. Ontario Court of Justice, Brampton Ct., 2009
Factual Background: Client was intoxicated and got into 2 accidents before being stopped by the police. Her breath readings at the station were 280 and 290!

The Strategy: Resolve the case so the client does not go to jail – the Crown was seeking 30-60 days in jail.

Decision/Outcome: We obtained a very positive pre-sentence report as well as letters from her doctors setting out a series of conditions that the client suffers from and the judge imposed the minimum fine and the minimum driving prohibition of 1 year.
R. v. M. Ontario Court of Justice, Brampton Ct. 2009
Factual Background: Mr. M was stopped at a RIDE spot check and ordered to supply a sample of his breath into a roadside screening device. He failed the test, was arrested and taken back to the station where he provide 2 samples of his breath that registered readings of 140, just under twice the legal limit of 80.

The Strategy: To find a technical defense to the charge that has not yet been taken away by Parliament or the courts in their efforts to get tough on drinking and driving. The client would not be testifying because there was nothing he could say to assist himself.

Decision/Outcome: Client found not guilty. The Crown Attorney was not able to show that the breath tests were taken as soon as required by law. The wrong questions were asked and I saw the gap in the evidence and asked no questions – a good lawyer knows when to shut up!
R. v. BA. Superior Court of Justice, Guelph Ontario, 2007
Factual Background: Client was charged with Impaired Driving Causing Death and Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm X2 – he had run into the back of a car that was travelling ahead of him on the highway killing the passenger in the backseat of the car that he struck.

The Strategy: Conduct a preliminary hearing and use the opportunity to weaken certain aspects of the Crown’s case so that they might soften their sentencing position which was 3 years in the penitentiary.

Decision/Outcome: I was able to discredit the accident reconstructionist which made the facts much less severe than they would have been otherwise. This softened the Crown’s position somewhat and then I obtained a very favorable psychological report and a very favorable pre-sentence report for my client. The client then received 12 months in jail instead of three years.
Related to
Driving Charges