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When might an impaired driving charge be dropped?

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It is fair to say that most people are aware that driving while impaired is against the law. Because of this, many people who face the charge did not engage in the behavior knowingly. It is possible they thought they were fine to get behind the wheel and operate a vehicle. When such a charge is laid by the Crown, the specifics of the case will be relevant to the outcome. Recently the circumstances surrounding one man’s arrest for drunk driving in Ontario resulted in the impaired driving charges against him, being dropped.

The man was arrested for driving his friend’s snowmobile while intoxicated. Though he does not dispute that he operated a vehicle after drinking, as it turns out, he had good reason for doing so. The 51-year-old was fishing with three friends, when the snowmobile a couple of them were riding broke through the ice, and his friends fell in. He was able to pull two men to safety but struggled to reach the third. When his attempts failed, he used his friend’s snowmobile to get to shore in an attempt to get help. After his friend tragically drowned, the man was arrested and taken to jail.

Following that arrest, in addition to mourning the loss of his friend, the man lost his license and also had to pay large sums of money to take a cab to and from work each day. Fortunately, rather than gearing up to build a defence against the charge, the man recently learned the charge was dropped. While law enforcement did not comment on the course of action his friends believe it’s because the man was trying to save them when the incident occurred.

While it is true that these are not circumstances under which an accused would commonly find the charges dismissed, it does illustrate the point that facing criminal charges for drunk driving is not the same as a conviction.

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