Many police organizations and general Canadians were thrown for a loop recently when an Ontario Judge ruled that a common type of breathalyzer was inaccurate in determining a person’s intoxication.
The Court found inconsistencies and flaws in the machine’s ability to properly tell the level of a person’s intoxication and that left enough reasonable doubt to let the defendant walk free.
This ruling will unfortunately have a powerful negative impact on the province and every local community.
Suddenly everyone that has at one time been charged by a device such as this will have a reason to appeal their sentence now. Many of those that were guilty of the offence could walk without facing any sort of penalty.
Everyone who was charged because of this machine could now go free.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving Canada, alcohol plays a factor in 55 per cent of collisions in the country. One of the more high profile cases of drunk driving happened recently with Marco Muzzo getting 10 years for killing four people in an accident. Suddenly police have lost a key tool in helping to charge offenders and possibly stop some of these accidents from happening.
This is just one device being called into question. Does this ruling mean that lawyers could argue that other similar machines have similar flaws? It just might.
The Crown is looking to appeal this decision, which could undue some of the damage that has been done by this ruling, but this creates reasonable doubt in all of the machines that are used to put away actual criminals.
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