Charged with impaired driving in Ottawa. M.D. was facing a jail sentence - this was a second impaired driving offence. Celine successfully prevented the Crown from filing a Notice of Increased Penalty, and M.D. was sentenced to a higher fine.
B.L. was charged with impaired operation of a motor vehicle. B.L. went to a bar after work, met other patrons and consumed too much alcohol. B.L. left the bar with another patron. On their way home, the vehicle fell into a ditch. The other individual went to get help, and told police that B.L. was the driver. When the police arrived at the location of the vehicle, B.L. was in the driver’s seat, had a concussion and did not remember the motor vehicle accident. At trial, Celine successfully raised a reasonable doubt that B.L. was not a driver – the other patron drove the vehicle and B.L. climbed into the driver’s seat after the accident. The Judge acquitted B.L.
RB was charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm: his vehicle struck a family leaving for a family vacation, grave injuries to the people in the other car. People convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm go to jail: the length of time depends on their actions, and the injuries sustained by the victims. Celine Dostaler worked with her client to prepare him for the least possible sentence. After numerous lengthy sentencing submissions, RB was sentenced to 10 months jail, less than half of the time the Crown suggested was appropriate.
A.N. was supposed to be the designated driver. The bar closed, her phone was dead, and there were no cabs around. A.N. got in her car, started it and charged her phone. A.N. was arrested for having care and control of her vehicle while being impaired and over 80. A.N. was acquitted of all charges after trial.
R.H. was stopped by police because they suspected he was driving while impaired. At the station, police tried to convince R.H. to call a lawyer, but R.H. refused. He was brought into the breath technician room to provide two samples of breath, and the officer read R.H. his rights to counsel again. R.H. then asked to speak to a lawyer, and told the officer that he would not provide a sample without first speaking to a lawyer. The officer did not allow R.H. to call a lawyer, stating that he had a chance to do so earlier and refused. Céline successfully argued that even though he was originally allowed to speak to a lawyer before providing a breath sample and he refused, that his right to speak to a lawyer was denied by the second officer, because that officer refused to allow him to call a lawyer. R.H. was acquitted of all charges.
J.L. was charged with care and control of a motor vehicle and impaired driving. J.L. went drinking with his friends at a bar. At closing time, he knew he was too drunk to drive home so he planned on walking with his friends and getting his car in the morning. Paramedics were parked near his car and noticed J.L. leave his group of friends, take a seat in his car and turn on the engine. Paramedics blocked the car to prevent him from driving and called police. At trial, J.L.’s friends said that they were waiting for J.L. to get out of his car before they walked home, but that they did not see that he had turned on the car and put it in reverse. J.L. was acquitted of impaired operation of a motor vehicle.
P.W. was charged with impaired and refusal to provide a breath sample. He drank more than 6 ounces of vodka and drove to the Beer Store, where he bought 2 tall cans and a 12-pack of beer. After he finished his two tall cans of beer, he decided to drive home. Witnesses called the police because P.W. was driving erratically and weaving across lanes. When police arrived, P.W. hit a snowbank and was laying down across the driver and passenger seat. When police asked that he provide a breath sample, P.W. refused to blow into the machine, instead blowing into thin air. P.W. wanted to plead guilty to all charges. Through effective advocacy, P.W. only plead guilty to impaired driving, was sentenced to a $2,000 fine, and a 12-month driving prohibition. P.W. did not have to plead guilty to the charge of refusal to provide a breath sample.