Nov 26, 2013 - SASKATOON PROSECUTOR HELPS PEN GUIDE TO INVESTIGATING DRUNK DRIVERS


Book aimed at police officers, lawyers

Impaired driving investigations need to be treated as seriously as homicide investigations according to a Crown prosecutor from Saskatoon who helped edit a book on the subject.
 
"About once a week in Saskatchewan, someone is killed and there is a charge laid with respect to impaired driving. So I find these cases to be just as serious as any other types of cases where someone is killed, and that's why I've had an interest in this type of law for some time now," Bryce Pashovitz said.
 
It's the reason he became involved with the Law Professionals Guide to Investigating Impaired Drivers, aimed at helping Canadian police officers and prosecutors navigate a sometimes complicated area of law. It's the second edition of a series started by Gregory Koturbash, a former prosecutor who couldn't finish the book once he became a judge. That's why Pashovitz, along with Manitoba lawyer Therese Koturbash, stepped in to edit the updated version.
 
Pashovitz said the book is written in plain language and designed to be kept in a patrol car; it breaks the investigative process down into a step-by-step checklist, exploring questions like what grounds do I need to stop a vehicle? When can I demand a breath sample? And why is it important to be polite with a drunk?
 
He believes law enforcement will find the section on dealing with a person's right to council especially useful.
 
"That's something that they'll end up having to know for the rest of their career, not just for impaired driving investigations."
 
While the book may not be a page-turner for the general public, Pashovitz said it does highlight some interesting nuances in the legislation, like what constitutes a motor vehicle. In one Canadian case, the driver of a motorized scooter was acquitted of impaired driving because he didn't have the motor running and was pedaling instead.
 
Readers can also find examples of unique cases and shocking statistics sprinkled in between chapters. One talks about how a Zamboni driver in Ontario was charged after driving drunk in a rink. Another reads "studies suggest that a first time drunk driving offender has on average already driven drunk more than 80 times."
 
Pashovitz said the guide is especially relevant this time of year, when holiday parties often lead to having a few drinks before getting behind the wheel.
 
"Because of the awareness programs that are out there. Police officers, they do the majority of their investigations with respect to this type of offense around this time of year just to make sure the public stays safe over the holidays."
 
According to the book, Saskatchewan has the highest impaired driving rate in Canada--which is almost double the national average.
 
Law Professionals Guide to Investigating Impaired Drivers can be purchased through their website.

Source: New Talk 980


 

Last updated on: 2013-11-28 | Link to this post