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IMPAIRED DRIVING INVESTIGATION. Cst . Lynn Parenteau Cst . Bryon Sommacal Cst . Dale Amyotte Cst . Damien Rozon Saskatoon Police Service. CONSIDER THIS!. Impaired Driving. Thousands of people are killed or seriously injured by impaired drivers.

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impaired driving investigation
IMPAIRED DRIVINGINVESTIGATION

Cst. Lynn Parenteau

Cst. Bryon Sommacal

Cst. Dale Amyotte

Cst. Damien Rozon

Saskatoon Police Service

impaired driving
Impaired Driving
  • Thousands of people are killed or seriously injured by impaired drivers.
  • The impaired driver in a vehicle represents a greater threat to the public than any person armed with a gun, for the energy contained in an automobile hurtling down the street by far exceeds that of the worlds most powerful firearm.
slide4

Cost to property and life can be astronomical.

  • 1 out of 2 drivers after midnight have been drinking and half of those are impaired.
  • Of all the criminal investigation’s you will do in your career with the exception of a select few ( murder, sexual assault, etc.) There are few crimes as serious or potentially devastating to the public.
criminal law
Criminal Law
  • Impaired operation/care and control
  • Operate/care and control while over 80 mg%
  • Refuse to provide breath / blood sample
  • Impaired operation causing bodily harm
  • Impaired operation causing death
  • Exceeding 80 mg% causing bodily harm
  • Exceeding 80 mg% causing death
253 1 a cc
253(1)(a) CC

Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, whether it is in motion or not while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle is impaired by alcohol or a drug

253 1 b cc
253(1)(b) CC

Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, whether it is in motion or not, having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person’s blood exceeds 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood (exceeds 80 mg%)

impaired operation vs exceed 80 mg
Impaired Operation VS Exceed 80 mg%

These are 2 distinct offences:

  • impaired operation relates to a person’s ability (derived from their behavioral cues)
  • exceed 80 mg% refers to a quantitative measurement of blood alcohol levels
  • usually go together, but not always
impaired driving 253 1 a cc
Impaired Driving-253(1)(a) CC

What is Impaired Driving?

impairment
Impairment
  • Deterioration of the sensory and cognitive skills required to safely operate a motor vehicle
  • There is no significant deterioration of physical abilities
  • Impairment of vision, alertness, reaction time, judgment, decision making, concentration and attention
intoxication
Intoxication
  • Advanced state of impairment where physical abilities have also deteriorated
  • Individuals exhibit outward symptoms such as slurred speech, staggering, problems with balance and co-ordination
  • Further dulling of mental functions leading to confusion, disorientation and drowsiness
  • Emotional states may be illogical and extreme
slide12
R.v. Stelatto (1993) - If the evidence of impairment establishes any degree of impairment ranging from slight to great, the offence is made out.

Evidence must be of impairment that affects ability to operate a motor vehicle as this is an element of the offence.

reasonable probable grounds
Reasonable & Probable Grounds

How do we establish reasonable & probable grounds for Impaired Driving?

  • Driving Observations
  • Physical Observations
  • Observations of Witnesses
observations
Observations

Driving Observations

  • Weaving/Swerving/Drifting/Lane Position
  • Wide or narrow turning radius
  • Improper signaling
  • Unexplainable MVA
  • Disobeying traffic signals
observations1
Observations
  • Driving onto side walk when pulling to the curve
  • Headlights off at night
  • Speeding/Going very slow
  • Fresh damage
  • Flat tires
observations2
Observations

What does a drunk look like to you?

observations3
Observations

Physical Observations

Breath

  • Smell of alcohol on the breath of the person
  • Smell of marihuana on person or in vehicle
observations4
Observations

Speech

  • Slurred/Difficult (incoherent) speech
  • Slow/Deliberate speech
  • Asks the same questions repeatedly
  • Smacking of lips/Dry mouth
observations5
Observations

Balance

  • Swaying/Unsteady on feet when standing
  • Sagging knees
  • Falling
  • Staggers when they walk
observations6
Observations

Eyes

  • Bloodshot
  • Glassy
  • Sleepy (1/2 closed)
  • Watery
observations7
Observations

Face

  • Flushed
  • Pale
  • Red faced
observations8
Observations

Clothing

  • Unkempt
  • Soiled
  • Disarranged
observations9
Observations

Unusual Conditions

  • Loss of co-ordination/consciousness
  • Loss of muscle tone
  • Vomiting/drooling
  • White at the corners of the mouth
observations10
Observations

Attitude

  • Polite/Co-operative
  • Cocky
  • Combative/Abusive
  • Emotional (crying, laughing, etc)
  • Rapid mood or demeanor changes
observations11
Observations

Observations of Witnesses

  • Talk to other motorists, pedestrians, ambulance personnel, bystanders, etc
  • Get statements if possible
  • Can assist you in forming your reasonable and probable grounds and support your case
grounds vs evidence
Grounds VS Evidence
  • When forming grounds to believe we can rely on hearsay and uncautioned statements
  • Some of these may not be used as evidence at trial, therefore, it is important to keep making observations/notes throughout the investigation
court
Court
  • Talk to/Observe the accused before court
  • Note the differences between the accused in a sober and a non-sober state
forming grounds for 253 1 b
Forming Grounds for 253(1)(b)

Once you have formed the grounds that the person is impaired, you have the grounds that they also exceed 80 mg% and you can make a breath demand

What if you don’t have the grounds that they are impaired?

approved screening device
Approved Screening Device
  • Used when you are unable to establish reasonable grounds for an impaired
  • Require reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has alcohol in their body AND within preceding 3 hours operated or had care or control of a motor vehicle
  • A “fail” gives grounds that the driver is committing 253(1)(b)
reasonable grounds to suspect
Reasonable Grounds to Suspect
  • Smell of beverage alcohol from breath indicating recent consumption
  • Admission from driver that there was recent consumption
  • Witness evidence that there was recent consumption (need statement!!)
making the breath demand
Making the Breath Demand

Grounds that the accused was committing 253(1)(a) or 253 (1)(b) must be formed within 3 hours of the offence.

It has to be as a result of alcohol consumption as you CAN’T make a breath demand for drug impairment.

drugs
Drugs

If you have grounds that the accused was committing 253(1)(a) by drug or drug/alcohol (must be formed within 3 hours of the offence) you can demand they submit to an evaluation conducted by a Certified Drug Recognition Expert (CDRE).

drugs1
Drugs

If the CDRE completes the evaluation and has reasonable grounds to believe that the person is impaired they can demand:

  • An oral or urine sample OR
  • A blood sample (need doctor’s permission)
drugs2
Drugs

If you only have reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has a drug in their body and that in the preceding 3 hours they operated a motor vehicle you can demand physical co-ordination tests (Standard Field Sobriety Tests – SFST’s).

A “fail” of the SFST’s can lead to a demand for an evaluation by a CDRE

blood demand
Blood Demand
  • The subject is incapable of providing a breath sample, OR
  • It would be impractical to obtain a breath sample due to the subjects physical condition.
blood demand1
Blood Demand

The requirements for making a blood demand are almost identical to those of a breath demand:

  • Need RPG to believe they committed 253(1)(a) or 253(1)(b) in preceding 3 hours
  • Suspect must be given opportunity to contact counsel in private
  • Make sure they understand the demand
blood demand2
Blood Demand

In addition, however, the attending physician has to authorize the blood to be drawn. If he/she doesn’t authorize this you must cease this part of the investigation and no action can be taken against the doctor.

The BAC can be found by other methods i.e.. Search Warrant or Production Order.

breath blood and evaluation demands
Breath, Blood and Evaluation Demands
  • Demands to be read direct from notebook or card
  • Record subjects response to demand and time
refusals
Refusals

Subject can be charged for refusing to comply with:

  • ASD demand
  • Breath demand
  • Blood demand
refusals1
Refusals

It must be an informed refusal:

  • Subject must be warned of the consequences of his/her actions
  • Do this several times and document clearly what was said or done
blood warrant 256 1 cc
Blood Warrant – 256(1) CC
  • Used if subject is unconscious or unable to respond to demand
  • Still need RPG and physician’s approval
  • Can only be used if suspect caused bodily harm or death
  • Have only 4 hours to execute the warrant from the time of the offence
  • Other options are Search Warrant and Production Order
counsel
Counsel
  • Right to counsel must be in private but not out of your sight
  • Note all times i.e.. Time they requested to talk to a lawyer, time they actually talked to a lawyer
  • Allow a reasonable time to consult counsel
important notes to remember
Important Notes to Remember
  • Make good, accurate notes on your observations (be descriptive!!)
  • Monitor your subject during transport, booking in, lawyer call, and time of all tests
  • Continue recording observations throughout investigation
  • Note all times
  • Be patient with providing counsel
important notes to remember1
Important Notes to Remember
  • Ask about drinking pattern (when was last drink, what were they drinking, how much, where, etc) several times
  • Note the time of occurrence
  • Note what clothing the subject was wearing i.e.. Footwear
  • Note the environmental conditions
  • Search for evidence as well as officer safety
conclusion
Conclusion

Impaired driving is no longer socially acceptable.

The needless carnage and suffering can be stopped or reduced through your diligent investigation in this area.

IMPAIRED DRIVING IS NOT A VICTIMLESS CRIME!!