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Roadside Breathalyzer - What are reasonable grounds?


Exarch

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So tonight I left a pub and immediately was pulled over by an undercover RCMP vehicle. The officer said one of my headlights was out (which was true, but I wasn't aware because my headlights are so crappy I barely notice them most of the time).

She then asked if I had been drinking tonight. I said no; she said she could smell alcohol on my breath and that my eyes were glassy. Both blatant lies, because I haven't consumed alcohol (or drugs) in over six weeks.

She asked if I would perform a roadside sobriety test. I said sure, and blew zero obviously. She then said "my nose isn't working tonight". I wanted to somewhat angrily inquire about her lies about my breath/eyes, but I also didn't want to get a ticket for my headlight being out, so I let it slide. It was obvious though that her only purpose was catching people leaving the pub drunk.

I did a quick search just now this is all I see:

FEDERAL LAW

The Criminal Code of Canada (s. 249 - 261) states it is a criminal offence to operate a motor vehicle (whether in motion or not) while impaired (that is, with a blood alcohol content exceeding eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood (0.08 BAC); and / or impaired by a drug). If police have reasonable grounds to believe a person is committing, or at any time within the preceding three hours has committed this offence, they may request the person submit a blood and / or breath sample. It is also an offence to fail or refuse to comply with the request without a reasonable excuse

Does anyone know what constitutes 'reasonable grounds' in this situation? All I did was exit a pub's parking lot. No harm done, I'd just like to know more about my rights.

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...the Criminal Code requires that an arresting officer must subjectively have reasonable and probable grounds on which to base the arrest. Those grounds must, in addition, be justifiable from an objective point of view. That is to say, a reasonable person placed in the position of the officer must be able to conclude that there were indeed reasonable and probable grounds for the arrest. On the other hand, the police need not demonstrate anything more than reasonable and probable grounds. Specifically they are not required to establish a prima facie case for conviction before making the arrest.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/R._v._Storrey

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No harm, no foul. Like, for real. You pulled out of a pub. That is reasonable grounds, isn't it? It's just like a highway check where the cop checks every car that goes through.

I'm so smashed tonight, and this is what happened on our way home. Buddy who has an 'N' drove two of us home as a designated driver. Cop pulled us over because the car obviously reeked of alcohol. Buddy blew a zero. The cop knew that driving two people home with an 'N' was the best option available. He let us go.

You are in ZERO trouble if pulled over. If she arrested you because you came out of a bar sober, that'd be a different story.

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No harm, no foul. Like, for real. You pulled out of a pub. That is reasonable grounds, isn't it? It's just like a highway check where the cop checks every car that goes through.

I'm so smashed tonight, and this is what happened on our way home. Buddy who has an 'N' drove two of us home as a designated driver. Cop pulled us over because the car obviously reeked of alcohol. Buddy blew a zero. The cop knew that driving two people home with an 'N' was the best option available. He let us go.

You are in ZERO trouble if pulled over. If she arrested you because you came out of a bar sober, that'd be a different story.

I dunno, sounds like a crime to me.

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The headlight being burnt out was her probable cause to pull you over at first.

Pulling out of a pub would definitely not be grounds for ANYTHING. Numerous times on TV you can see cops pulling over people for driving out of high drug areas/crack/trap houses and they get stopped. Minuscule things like no front plate, brake/head light burnt out, no stickers/tags visible, rolling a stop, "unsafe" lane changes are JUST enough reason for the cops to actually be able to do that.

They will try and most likely eventually find something they can use.

Once pulled over, a whole new level of possibilities for legal grounds/suspicion opens up.

Of course there are a lot of times where they would actually pull you over simply for seeing you drive out of the pub. No other cause. But it would seem if charges were laid you could get around them based on the fact that the stop would not seem to be warranted or deemed legal to begin with.

However, eyes being glossy, plus smell of alcohol, were clear lies if you did in fact blow zero. So it would pretty much be the cops word against yours if you got a DUI.

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No harm, no foul. Like, for real. You pulled out of a pub. That is reasonable grounds, isn't it? It's just like a highway check where the cop checks every car that goes through.

I'm so smashed tonight, and this is what happened on our way home. Buddy who has an 'N' drove two of us home as a designated driver. Cop pulled us over because the car obviously reeked of alcohol. Buddy blew a zero. The cop knew that driving two people home with an 'N' was the best option available. He let us go.

You are in ZERO trouble if pulled over. If she arrested you because you came out of a bar sober, that'd be a different story.

Yes. Those are technically illegal.

Just like the immigration check points in 'Murica. You see people on video refusing everything and eventually going through because the cops really have no merits to just stop you in the middle of the road and ask for anything.

There is NO probable cause.

Most people don't know their rights or don't want to risk further trouble/are intimidated so we all put up with it.

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So tonight I left a pub and immediately was pulled over by an undercover RCMP vehicle. The officer said one of my headlights was out (which was true, but I wasn't aware because my headlights are so crappy I barely notice them most of the time).

She then asked if I had been drinking tonight. I said no; she said she could smell alcohol on my breath and that my eyes were glassy. Both blatant lies, because I haven't consumed alcohol (or drugs) in over six weeks.

She asked if I would perform a roadside sobriety test. I said sure, and blew zero obviously. She then said "my nose isn't working tonight". I wanted to somewhat angrily inquire about her lies about my breath/eyes, but I also didn't want to get a ticket for my headlight being out, so I let it slide. It was obvious though that her only purpose was catching people leaving the pub drunk.

I did a quick search just now this is all I see:

Does anyone know what constitutes 'reasonable grounds' in this situation? All I did was exit a pub's parking lot. No harm done, I'd just like to know more about my rights.

Fix the headlight , Christ it takes all of 5 minutes and the cop would have not even pulled you over.
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If your headlight is out, she has grounds to pull you over. I mean, I think they can just do random checks anyhow (as in a roadblock)...so just be thankful that you're smart enough not to drink and drive. She's just doing her job and if they're targeting people leaving pubs, all the power to them. I'm with D on this one...makes the roads safer and I'm quite happy to hear they're doing that.

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Yes. Those are technically illegal.

Just like the immigration check points in 'Murica. You see people on video refusing everything and eventually going through because the cops really have no merits to just stop you in the middle of the road and ask for anything.

There is NO probable cause.

Most people don't know their rights or don't want to risk further trouble/are intimidated so we all put up with it.

No. They are not illegal. Two points:

  1. This is not America, so American immigration checks are totally irrelevant.
  2. Reading the legislation only tells you half the story - you need to know the case law too.

Look into a case called R. v. Ladouceur, out of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1990. This case establishes that random traffic stops are justified - the police don't need "probable cause" or anything like that. The mere fact of driving a car justifies random stops.

So - the bottom line is that random stops are legal in Canada, and have been legal for almost 25 years.

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No. They are not illegal. Two points:

  1. This is not America, so American immigration checks are totally irrelevant.


  2. Reading the legislation only tells you half the story - you need to know the case law too.

Look into a case called R. v. Ladouceur, out of the Supreme Court of Canada in 1990. This case establishes that random traffic stops are justified - the police don't need "probable cause" or anything like that. The mere fact of driving a car justifies random stops.

So - the bottom line is that random stops are legal in Canada, and have been legal for almost 25 years.

~Lawyered.

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Sigh. People like you exist? Give your head a shake.

There's morons like you still out there? Driving while intoxicated or under the influence puts both you and others at risk.

On top of it, it voids your insurance. If you're lucky you'll only injure yourself. 21 year old Orion Hutchinson was killed by an off duty cop Cpl. Benjamin Robinson who had been drinking and driving. Considering these days it doesn't take much to phone a friend, family member, take a cab, or have a designated driver.

To the OP, you left a pub and the cop probably was watching you. Great to see you had the good sense not to drink and drive.

Maybe get that headlight fixed. :)

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Did you get the headlight ticket OP?

I've only been breathalyzed once. Blew a 0.028...my rule is "over two beers, I'm not the one who steers." I wish they had more enforcement here on the island though. Haven't seen a roadblock in quite some time. And last week a designated driver was T-boned by a drunk driver and is still in a medically induced coma clinging to life. Why is it so common that the innocent are the ones injured/killed and the drunk walks away?

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