Canada’s top court has set new limits for defendants trying to beat a drunk-driving charge in a ruling that may have consequences for anyone accused of being high behind the wheel.
What the Supreme Court of Canada laid out over two decisions released Friday was a framework for when an accused person can get the maintenance log of a breathalyzer so they can question how well the device worked and whether the results can be trusted.
The high court said an accused can get the logs only if they can show that the records are relevant to their defence.
Ottawa-based lawyer Michael Spratt said the Supreme Court ruling will be “highly instructive” for judges when they consider requests for maintenance logs for roadside marijuana tests.
“It, I think, does tilt the slope so that accused will have an uphill battle to make the arguments to get the records of those machines as well,” Spratt said.
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