Gunn Law Group Impaired Driving DUI Criminal Defence Lawyers.

Past Cases

The vast majority of judicial decisions are never “reported”, that is, published either on-line or through a publishing company. The following is merely a sampling of some notable judgments, primarily on appeal, of which we are particularly proud. This list is not comprehensive – it certainly does not reflect our actual caseload – and is intended only to illustrate the kinds of issues with which we work. These judgments reflect our commitment to the effective representation of our clients and they represent a few of our accomplishments in the area of criminal law and impaired driving, in particular.

Supreme Court of Canada Cases

  • Adobe Acrobat Required 2007 SCC 39 - impaired driving causing death and driving with blood-alcohol level over the limit – s. 8 Charter - reasonable and probable grounds to arrest and make breath demand – appeal dismissed – unanimous that trial judge erred in statement of law but majority of 5 to 4 hold that totality of judgment reflected correct test.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required (1994), 92 C.C.C. (3d) 333 (S.C.C.) - refusal to blow – s. 10(b) Charter - right to be informed of the availability of duty counsel - appeal allowed - detainees must be informed of the availability of free, preliminary legal advice from duty counsel (in addition to the availability of Legal Aid).
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [1997] 3 S.C.R. 3 (S.C.C.)- impaired driving trial – s. 11(d) Charter – judicial independence - appeal allowed, in part – Supreme Court requires establishment of judicial compensation committees.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required (1981), 62 C.C.C. (2d) 97 (S.C.C.)– accused acquitted on charge of importing heroin – trial judge acquitting on basis of reasonable doubt concerning accuracy of drug analysis – acquittal upheld against Crown appeal.

Alberta Cases

  • Adobe Acrobat Required 2005 ABCA 105 - impaired driving, dangerous driving and driving while over the legal limit – s. 9 Charter - arbitrary detention after samples of breath already provided – Court of Appeal’s previous decision in R. v. Cutforth (1987), 40 C.C.C. (3d) 253 (Alta. C.A.) overturned - accused persons who are arbitrarily detained after providing breath samples may be entitled to Charter relief.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [2005] A.J. No. 1886 (Prov. Ct.) (Q.L.) – impaired driving – ss. 7 and 11(b) Charter - trial within a reasonable time and disclosure issues – charges stayed.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required 2005 ABPC 287 – driving while over legal limit – s. 8 Charter – reasonable and probable grounds – requirement for belief as to time of driving – requirement to make evidential demand “forthwith or as soon as practicable” – acquittal entered.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [2004] A.J. No. 622 (Q.B.) (Q.L.)– s. 8 Charter - calibration and maintenance of screening devices – conviction overturned and acquittal entered - failure to ensure proper calibration and maintenance may result in finding of Charter violation and exclusion of evidence.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [2004] A.J. No. 319 (Q.B.) - cyanide spill – provincial regulatory offences – appropriate sentence – sentence imposed at trial upheld against Crown appeal.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required 2003 ABCA 23 – s. 7 Charter – remedies for late disclosure – trial judge awards costs in three cases where Crown failed to provide timely disclosure – Court of Appeal upholds costs award (our office acted as trial counsel only in this case).
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [2003] A.J. No. 949 (Q.B) (Q.L) – driving while over the legal limit – requirement for proof that samples were taken pursuant to a demand - conviction overturned and acquittal entered – a pre-requisite for the admission into evidence of a certificate of analyses is proof that a demand was made.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [2002] A.J. No. 1285 (Q.B.) (Q.L.) – driving while over legal limit - s. 8 Charter - reasonable and probable grounds - conviction overturned and acquittal entered.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [2002] A.J. No. 793 (Q.B.) (Q.L.) – criminal conspiracy, criminal organization, and numerous drug charges - more than 30 co-accused – many charges eventually stayed.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [1998] A.J. No. 50 (Q.B.), (Q.L.) - impaired driving and driving while over legal limit – s. 8 Charter - screening tests - reasonable and probable grounds- acquittal upheld – police officer who had already formed opinion accused’s ability to drive impaired not using screening device in accordance with s. 254 Criminal Code.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [1993] A.J. No. 170 (Q.B.) (Q.L.) - driving while over legal limit – s. 254(2) Criminal Code – ss, 8 and 10(b) Charter – conviction overturned and acquittal entered - transportation of accused to police station to undergo screening test - right to counsel violated and exclusion of evidence.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [1992] A.J. No. 977 (C.A.) (Q.L.) – driving while over legal limit – meaning of “evidence to the contrary” – conviction overturned and acquittal entered - trial judge need not “accept” accused’s evidence in order to have a reasonable doubt.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [1982] A.J. No. 241 (C.A.) (Q.L.), – driving while over legal limit - facts on which expert bases opinion must be proven.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [1981] A.J. No. 698 (C.A.) (Q.L.) – jurisdiction of court to deal with matter when the information not before the court.
  • (Alta. Q.B.) – second degree murder – acquittal after trial.

Cases in French

  • (unreported, April 20, 2007, Alta. Prov. Ct.) – written decision - impaired driving and driving while over legal limit – s. 10(b) Charter – failure to effectively communicate right to counsel to French-speaking accused – acquittal entered - judgment in French.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [2005] A.J. No. 828 (Cour Prov.) (Q.L.) - impaired driving and driving while over legal limit – ss. 8 and 10(b) Charter – failure to ensure reliable screening test result – absence of reasonable and probable grounds – failure to ensure meaningful access to counsel on arrest of French-speaking accused – acquittal entered – judgment in French.

Cases in Other Jurisdictions

  • Adobe Acrobat Required 2007 S.K.C.A. 32 – care or control while impaired and with excessive blood-alcohol – acquittals reversed and conviction entered - meaning of care or control – trial judge can properly consider evidence of accused’s purpose or intention in deciding whether offence proven.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [2003] N.W.T.J. No. 1 (S.C.) (Q.L.) – driving while impaired – conviction at trial - appeal allowed and acquittal entered - unreasonable verdicts.
  • Adobe Acrobat Required [1997] CarswellSask 257 (Q.B.) – driving while over legal limit - acquittal at trial – Crown appeal - costs awarded to defense on frivolous appeal by Crown.