Breath samples must be given, Sarnia man told
Man, 23, learns consequences of refusal
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.