Breath sam­ples must be given, Sar­nia man told

Man, 23, learns con­se­quences of re­fusal

The Observer (Sarnia) - - NEWS - NEIL BOWEN nbowen@postmedia.com

A Sar­nia man who was un­aware of the con­se­quences of fail­ing to give po­lice a road­side breath sam­ple has now learned the penalty is a $1,000 fine.

Zachary Lukas Rich, 23, pleaded guilty Tues­day in Sar­nia court to fail­ing to pro­vide a breath sam­ple.

Rich told the court he had been con­cerned about com­pro­mis­ing him­self by pro­vid­ing a sam­ple and was un­aware of the con­se­quences of his re­fusal.

Rich was rep­re­sent­ing him­self in court.

Not be­ing aware of the con­se­quences is not a de­fence, said Jus­tice Mark Horn­blower.

On March 3 a Sar­nia po­lice of­fi­cer stopped the speed­ing pick-up truck driven by Rich af­ter it went onto the shoul­der of High­way 40 in Sar­nia.

Rich smelled strongly of al­co­hol and told the of­fi­cer he had con­sumed two cans of beer, fin­ish­ing the last one two hours be­fore he was stopped.

When the of­fi­cer de­manded a breath sam­ple for a road­side screen­ing de­vice, Rich told the of­fi­cer he would not pro­vide a sam­ple.

He was ar­rested for fail­ing to pro­vide a sam­ple.

An of­fi­cer needs rea­son­able grounds to de­mand a sam­ple, and based on the al­co­hol odour and Rich’s ad­mis­sion about drink­ing the of­fi­cer had rea­son­able grounds, said Horn­blower.

Rich had no crim­i­nal record, said as­sis­tant Crown at­tor­ney Suzanne LaSha in re­quest­ing the min­i­mum fine of $1,000.

The min­i­mum fine was ap­pro­pri­ate, said Horn­blower.

The fi­nan­cial penalty was in­creased to $1,300 due to a manda­tory sur­charge.

A one-year driv­ing ban was also im­posed, but Rich could be el­i­gi­ble to drive af­ter three months if he pays to have a breath-test de­vice in­stalled in his ve­hi­cle.

Rich’s ques­tion about whether the ban ap­plied to heavy equip­ment op­er­ated at his workplace could not be an­swered by Horn­blower.

Horn­blower said did not know the an­swer and could not pro­vide ad­vice as an in­cor­rect an­swer could cre­ate fur­ther prob­lems.

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