A patron at a bar observed a man walk out the bar room doors and trip over a curb, bump into a tree, and stumble across the parking lot, before hopping into an SUV and driving away. The patron did the right thing and called 911. Soon afterwards a vehicle matching the description given by the patron was found in the ditch, with the client crawling on all fours near the driver side door. He was taken back to the police detachment and ultimately charged with impaired care and control of a motor vehicle. At trial, Mr. van der Walle successfully undermined the connection between the person the patron saw leave the bar and the client. The judge agreed that the evidence did not prove that the client was the same person who was seen leaving the bar minutes earlier. The remaining evidence of swaying and slurred speech was insufficient to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the client was impaired from alcohol, as opposed to merely having recently consumed alcohol. Not guilty. Client did not testify.
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