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by Cedric Hughes, Barrister & Solicitor with regular weekly contributions from Leslie McGuffin, LL.B.   

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The End of the “Two-Beer Defence

Article Number: 
256

In Canada, the first legislation dealing with impaired driving was passed in 1921, when “driving while intoxicated” became an offence under the Criminal Code. This was a time, as Leonard Evans describes it in the book “Traffic Safety”, when “evidence of intoxication was usually provided by a police officer reporting that the accused was unable to walk a straight line or speak clearly.”

New Cell Phone Bans

Article Number: 
252
RoadRules Category: 

On Monday August 28, 2006, just before noon, 42-year-old Bloc Québécois MP Benoît Sauvageau drove his car full speed—there were no signs of braking—into a tow truck parked on the side of a road in Repentigny, east of Montreal. According to news reports, the car was mangled, Mr.

Three Killed, Driver Not Criminally Negligent

Article Number: 
251
RoadRules Category: 

About 14 km west of Chase, BC Highway 1 curves. A double solid centre line marks the lanes. There, on July 23, 2003, on a sunny hot afternoon at about 2pm, a driver (we’ll refer to as Mr. Beatty), while driving the speed limit, failed to take the curve, crossed the line and crashed into an oncoming car killing its three occupants.

Is Ignorance of the Law a Defence?

Article Number: 
247
RoadRules Category: 

Section 204 of the Traffic Safety Act of Saskatchewan sets a speed limit of 60 km/hr “when passing an emergency vehicle … stopped on [a] highway with its emergency lights in operation.” There are no equivalent provisions in the Ontario Highway Traffic Act or the BC Motor Vehicle Act.

Dangerous Driving Offender Wins His Appeal—Why?

Article Number: 
244
RoadRules Category: 

Under the rule of law, judges are bound to apply statutory laws as they are written. Sometimes the results may be at first glance hard to understand. The recent British Columbia Court of Appeal decision in the case of “Regina v. Brignall” illustrates the problem – a technical victory for a bad driver.

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