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Reviews of Investigating Impaired Drivers
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Saturday
Apr212018

SENTENCE - TRAFFIC VOLUME AT TIME OF DRIVING

Mr. Denny's sentence appeal was dismissed, and there was an interesting comment about traffic volume. The sentencing judge had said "However, as with any offence, there are degrees of seriousness.  In Mr. Denny’s case, both stops occurred during times of the day when traffic volumes would have been quite light, making the risk to the public reduced substantially . . . ".

However the Nova Scotia Court of Appeal held that "At the sentencing, neither the Crown nor defence counsel made any comments or led evidence on the volume of traffic, vehicular or pedestrian, present at the time Mr. Denny was stopped by the police. The sentencing judge was not asked to take traffic volumes into consideration by any party.  The traffic volumes were simply not an issue at the sentencing.  Why the sentencing judge felt it necessary to refer to them and to take them into consideration as a mitigating factor in determining sentence is somewhat of a mystery. Further, his finding that the risk is somehow reduced when someone is driving while impaired at a time of day when vehicular traffic may be lighter is not supported by any evidentiary basis." R. v. Denny, 2018 NSCA 11