So I want to talk to you today about a situation that many of our clients have faced over the years we have a lot of collision type cases where the person say was out drinking for the night. Or perhaps they had consumed drugs such as cocaine or marijuana earlier in the day and, and an accident ensues maybe there’s injuries or maybe they’re not but they’re taken to the hospital ultimately. And maybe they’re unconscious, maybe they’re not able to give a breath sample due to injuries. For example, the police want to investigate for impaired driving. What the police will do in this situation if they have reasonable and probable grounds that the person has alcohol in their system that caused the accident or cause impairment or that they have drugs in their system, but they can’t, for example, provide a breath sample to say broken ribs.

They’re going to take they’re going to first of all, obviously the people in emergency the doctors are going to take blood tests, the police are going to get a search warrant for those blood tests. And those results are then going to go to the center forensic sciences. The center of forensic science is probably going to take, in my experience about two to four months for those results to come back. And the meantime the person’s not charged but they’re on pins and needles waiting for results here “I only had three drinks during the night, it was out of my system am I going to blow over. Geez I had that cocaine at 12 today the accidents eight maybe it’s out of my system, maybe it’s not.” So the client asked “Well, what do I do in the interim?” I say look, say nothing, do nothing. Do not talk to anyone.

Let’s hope the results show that it was clear or very low at that point and they can’t prove impairment. So what happens then, it comes back and we get the results. The police get the results and the person’s over the legal limit. For example of blood alcohol, 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood or over so they’re going to charge them then with impaired driving or blowing over and then we’re going to see if there’s any defences so those charges arent going to come for about four months to months. Obviously, we hope that they were under the legal limit. And the same thing for drugs if there’s drugs shown in your bloodstream at the time of the accident. The center of forensic science is going to state the amount whether it’s THC, whether it’s cannabis, obviously whether it’s cocaine or opiates or oxys. These can cause impairment at certain levels. We hope obviously the levels low and we hope it would leave nothing in your system, but you’re going get charged. They’re going get an opinion from a center forensic sciences toxicology to see if you were impaired and then we’re going to see if you can defend the charge. So that’s about a two to four months process it’s a pins and needles process. You got to just shut up in the interim not talk to anyone and the charges just goes away but it’s a common situation.

And you know, we can often challenge those search warrants we’ve been successful in that sometimes the police don’t do valid search warrants. Sometimes they shouldn’t have taken blood for example, maybe they could have done a breath and they decided take blood in that situation. Maybe they didn’t. If you were conscious. Maybe they didn’t do your rights to counsel properly. So there’s all sorts of defenses to these things. We will allow hospital type cases and DUI. But that’s a bit of a nutshell, discussion of taking blood samples in the hospital pursuant to search warrants in a DUI typecase.

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