David Anber recently completed a case of a client charged with refusing to provide a breath sample. The client, 24 years old at the time left an “exotic dancing” bar in the Hull, Quebec area of the National Capital region. Police decided to stop his vehicle with no other cause. Allegedly, the man refused to provide a breath sample when requested by police.
Since he had no prior record, he had ID on him, and he was not going to continue driving, there was no reason for the police to have kept him in custody; he should have been released on the spot with a date to come back to Court.
Instead, the young man was taken to jail and kept over the long weekend. He was given one brief Court appearance by telephone where he was not asked if he had anything to say and only released 3 days later.
At trial, David Anber, counsel for the young man, cross-examined the officer at length over the reasons for not releasing his client. After two hours, the Court took the lunch break. When Court resumed in the afternoon, the Crown prosecutor advised Mr. Anber that they were dropping the charges.
The judge commented that this was an “elegant” way to deal with what was going to be a forcefully argued application to Stay (stop) the charges had the case continued into the afternoon.