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Ruling makes it harder to obtain breathalyser reports

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When someone is charged with drunk driving it is in the best interest of the accused to take steps to defend themselves from the charges. There are multiple approaches to accomplish this that may be taken. One of them is to challenge the breathalyser reports. Recently Ontario’s high court made a ruling regarding obtaining the records. The ruling will make it harder for people seeking the records related to the breathalyser machine used, to get them.

Those accused of drunk driving who fail a breathalyser test might seek these records to find information regarding how the machine has performed in the past. If those records show that tasks administered to test the accuracy of the machine demonstrate that it has history of not working properly, such information could be used to cast doubt on the accuracy of the test administered to the accused.

In the case upon which the ruling was made, a man who was charged with drunk driving sought, and received, the type of records described above. He sought records in addition to the ones he secured which the court ruled against. In doing so, it indicated there was nothing in the materials he’d already received that indicated additional materials were relevant.

Among other reasons, in support of limiting access to these records, the Appeal Court cited the efficient operation of courts. Specifically it pointed to the way in which such requests could devour resources that are already limited.

This ruling does not mean that a breathalyser test cannot be questioned. It does make it that much more important for the accused to have a knowledgeable lawyer on his or her side.

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