Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm

Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm

The offence of operation while impaired causing bodily harm is outlined in section 320.14(2) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of operation while impaired causing bodily harm when they cause bodily harm to another while driving or exercising care or control over a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or railway equipment while their ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or a drug or where they are found to have, within two hours of driving the motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or railway equipment and harming someone, a blood alcohol or drug concentration that is too high.

Examples

Person A drives home from the bar while intoxicated and crashes into person B’s vehicle, injuring person B.

Person B drives their boat home after partying with their friends and consuming a large amount of alcohol and cocaine and hits person C, who is swimming near a dock, seriously injuring person C.

Person C backs into an intersection through a red light, injuring several crossing pedestrians. Person C is immediately taken into custody and a blood test taken an hour and a half after the incident reveals person C’s blood alcohol level is more than two times above the legal limit.

Cases

R. v. Johnson, 2021 ONCJ 383

In R. v. Johnson, the accused was convicted of one count of impaired driving causing bodily harm when, after having several drinks at the bar and arguing on the phone with his wife, he drove through an intersection going 110 km/h over the speed limit, mounted the sidewalk, and struck three pedestrians, severely injuring one of them.

R. v. Leis, 2021 ONCJ 86

In R. v. Leis, the accused was convicted of one count of impaired driving causing bodily harm when, after having several drinks at a concert, she drove the wrong way down a one-way street and crashed into a house, severing the gas line in front of this house. While first responders were clearing the scene, the severed gas line caused a massive explosion that damaged 30 homes and seriously injured two police officers and four firefighters.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Not a Conveyance

Where the person is driving or exercising care or control over something that is not a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or railway equipment, they may not have completed the offence of operation while impaired causing bodily harm.

No Impairment

Where the person has not consumed enough alcohol to impair their driving ability, they may not have completed the offence of operation while impaired causing bodily harm.

Consumed After

Where the person consumed alcohol or drugs after ceasing to operate their motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or railway equipment and without any expectation that they would need to provide a bodily substance sample, they may not have completed the offence of operation while impaired causing bodily harm.

No Harm

Where the person does not hurt anyone by driving while their ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or a drug, they will not have completed the offence of operation while impaired causing bodily harm.

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