Dangerous Operation

Dangerous Operation

Although not technically a DUI offence, it is not uncommon that some charged with a drinking and driving offence also faces this type of charge as well…

The leading case in this area is R. v. Beatty, [2008] 1 S.C.R. 49, a decision of the Supreme Court of Canada which authoritatively explains the “modified objective test”. Briefly stated, the court explained that a finding of dangerous driving requires a marked departure from the civil, norm in the circumstances. That a mere departure from the standard expected of a reasonably prudent person will meet the threshold for civil negligence but will not be sufficient for penal negligence.

Sometimes its preferable to offer this charge as an alternative to a DUI prosecution because, unlike DUI charges, a person found guilty of dangerous driving can still avoid a conviction since a conditional discharge is a lawful penalty. The drawback to this approach however is that there is a mandatory 12 month driving prohibition which can’t be abbreviated through participation in an early interlock program.

For those I defend such as doctors, lawyers and accountants, international students and workers – who must avoid a criminal record, this is an alternate strategy to negotiating a plea to careless driving where I can persuade the Crown that their case may not be as solid as they think.

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