R. v. J.E. — Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm Charges Dismissed by Judge

Our client was charged with impaired driving cause bodily harm.  He was driving in downtown Toronto just before last call when a pedestrian suddenly ran out onto the street to try to catch a taxi.  Our client was unable to stop his car in time and struck the pedestrian causing serious (but fortunately non-life threatening) injuries.  At trial, our client testified that he was a recovering cocaine addict and that late at night, he got a craving for cocaine and contacted an old friend in the hopes of obtaining drugs.  The friend agreed to meet our client for a beer at bar so our client snuck out of his house (his wife was asleep) to meet his friend.  At the bar, he and his friend each had one beer and our client’s friend talked out client out of doing drugs.  Our client’s craving passed and he agreed to drive his friend home after which he planned to return home himself.  Unfortunately, the accident with the pedestrian occurred as he was driving his friend home.  The accident occurred right in front of a bar just after last call.  A number of drunk patrons exited the bar and proceeded to yell at our client because he had struck a pedestrian.  Our client was overwhelmed by the situation and recalled that he had an unopened bottle of rum in the trunk of his car.  He proceeded to consume the alcohol before the police arrived.  Our client’s friend and his wife testified to to verify our client’s account of what happened and we also produced phone records that corroborated their evidence.  The trial judge not only had a reasonable doubt on the issue of whether or client was impaired at the time of the accident, but accepted that he was not impaired at the time, nor could any driver have avoided this accident considering how the pedestrian had suddenly run out onto the street.  The charge against our client was dismissed.