IMPAIRED – 8 – ENTRY INTO ACCUSED’S GARAGE

R. v. Rodriguez, 2014 ABPC 44, Semenuk, PCJ:

Impaired driving trial. Issue regarding alleged s. 8 breach. Police, not being in hot pursuit and in the absence of exigent circumstances, entered into the accused’s attached garage and investigated an alleged impaired driving case.

Held: s. 8 breach, evidence not excluded.

Case law is divided as to whether a detached garage is part of a dwelling house. However, the law is clear that an expectation of privacy exists in an individual’s detached garage. Officer had no legal authority to enter the garage. However, symptoms of impairment noted while in the garage not excluded. Breach was technical in nature. Ultimately, the officer (who was polite and professional throughout her dealings with the accused) “coaxed” the accused out of the garage and arrested him on the driveway/alley. Prevalence of impaired driving favored having a trial on the merits.

T. Dahlem – Defence Counsel