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Charter defence in impaired case tossed

Thursday, December 15, 2016 @ 7:00 PM | By Michael Benedict

A novel defence to a driving under the influence charge succeeded twice until recently rejected by the Ontario Court of Appeal. At trial and at summary conviction appeal court, Ottawa criminal defence lawyer Sean May convinced judges that a police officer lacked reasonable grounds to suspect Andrew Schouten had alcohol in his system despite smelling alcohol on his breath. Therefore, according to May, the officer violated Schouten’s Charter rights when demanding a roadside breath test, which Schouten failed.

May’s argument rested first on the officer’s acknowledgement...