R. v. Littlewood (B.G.), 2010 SKPC 60

Judge:Klause, P.C.J.
Court:Provincial Court of Saskatchewan
Case Date:May 17, 2010
Jurisdiction:Saskatchewan
Citations:2010 SKPC 60;(2010), 355 Sask.R. 246 (PC)
 
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R. v. Littlewood (B.G.) (2010), 355 Sask.R. 246 (PC)

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Temp. Cite: [2010] Sask.R. TBEd. MY.029

Her Majesty the Queen v. Bonnie Gay Littlewood

(Information No. 24328450; 2010 SKPC 60)

Indexed As: R. v. Littlewood (B.G.)

Saskatchewan Provincial Court

Klause, P.C.J.

May 17, 2010.

Summary:

The accused was charged with having care and control while impaired and having care and control of a motor vehicle while having an excessive blood-alcohol level.

The Saskatchewan Provincial Court found the accused not guilty on both charges. There was a reasonable doubt whether the accused was in care or control of the motor vehicle. She did not occupy the driver's seat for the purpose of setting it in motion, but rather occupied it in an attempt to hear what her boyfriend was saying to her outside of the vehicle.

Criminal Law - Topic 1368

Motor vehicles - Impaired driving - Care or control or operating - What constitutes - A police observed a vehicle stopped on a road - It was running and its tail lights were on - There was one occupant (the accused) sitting behind the steering wheel - The officer testified that the accused exhibited several indicia of impairment - She was charged with having care and control while impaired and having care and control of a motor vehicle while having an excessive blood-alcohol level - The accused testified that she had no intention of driving as it would jeopardize her employment and use of a company car - She alleged that her boyfriend had been driving, but stopped in front of the accused's brother's home in order to get his wallet - The accused slid into the driver's seat and powered down the window in order to hear what her boyfriend was saying to her - In order to cause the vehicle to move, she would have to depress the brake pedal first and then engage the gear shift - She alleged that she could not perform these steps accidentally - The Saskatchewan Provincial Court found the accused not guilty on both charges - The court accepted the accused's testimony - There was a reasonable doubt whether the accused was in care or control of the motor vehicle - She did not occupy the driver's seat for the purpose of setting it in motion, but rather occupied it in an attempt to hear what her boyfriend was saying to her - This was not a significant use of the vehicle's fittings and equipment - This did not constitute a danger or risk of putting the vehicle in motion, especially considering what she knew about her own vehicle.

Cases Noticed:

R. v. Shuparski (D.) (2003), 232 Sask.R. 1; 294 W.A.C. 1; 173 C.C.C.(3d) 97 (C.A.), refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Ford, [1982] 1 S.C.R. 231; 40 N.R. 451; 36 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 254; 101 A.P.R. 254; 65 C.C.C.(2d) 393, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Buckingham (R.A.), [2007] 6 W.W.R. 73; 293 Sask.R. 42; 397 W.A.C. 42; 2007 SKCA 32, refd to. [para. 17].

R. v. Toews, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 119; 61 N.R. 349; 21 C.C.C.(3d) 24, refd to. [para. 18].

R. v. Richard (A.) (2010), 352 Sask.R. 263; 2010 SKPC 18, refd to. [para. 23].

Counsel:

Barrie Stricker, for the Crown;

Agit Kapoor, for the accused.

This matter was heard by Klause, P.C.J., of the Saskatchewan Provincial Court, who released the following judgment on May 17, 2010.

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