Client was found unconscious behind the wheel of his running truck as it sat straddling the white line of a busy highway. When the police officer opened the door of the vehicle he immediately smelled the distinct odours of alcohol and ether. Soon after he smelled the odour of alcohol on the client’s breath. Upon searching the vehicle, the officer found an empty vodka bottle and a partially empty canister of ether. At trial, Mr. van der Walle called an expert toxicologist to the stand to testify that the overwhelmingly symptoms of drunkenness observed by the officer were equally as consistent with intoxication from ether as they were with intoxication from alcohol. In the end the judge had a doubt that the client had voluntarily become intoxicated. That is, because it was possible the ether canister discharged by itself, there was a doubt that the client intentionally became intoxicated. Not guilty. Client did not testify.
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