Police were at stage of ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’

Ontario criminal | Breathalyzer

DEMAND FOR BREATH (BLOOD) SAMPLE

Police were at stage of ‘reasonable grounds to suspect’

Accused appealed convictions for refusing to provide breath sample, assault with intent to resist arrest, four counts of assaulting police officer, and one count of carrying concealed weapon. Officers testified that accused was stopped for speeding and became uncooperative when officer called for approved screening device. According to officers, accused was belligerent and assaulted then when they tried to make arrest. Accused testified that he fully cooperated with police but refused to provide breath sample until he contacted his lawyer. Accused testified that officers hit him. Trial judge did not believe accused’s evidence that he told officers that he agreed to provide breath sample but wanted to speak to lawyer first. Accused argued that trial judge erred in finding that police had grounds to demand breath sample. Appeal dismissed. Accused had been driving at very high speed and made “rolling stop” at stop sign. Officer noticed strong smell of alcohol on accused’s breath, glossy eyes, and accused had admitted that he had consumed alcohol. Police were only at stage of “reasonable grounds to suspect”, not higher standard. There was ample evidence to support finding of trial judge that there were reasonable grounds to suspect presence of alcohol in accused’s body.
R. v. Marriott (Aug. 19, 2014, Ont. S.C.J., R.F. Goldstein J., File No. 81/12) 115 W.C.B. (2d) 341.

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