On Monday, July 7, a judge acquitted a man on DUI charges because police denied the suspect the right to call a DUI lawyer on his cell phone.
According to Ontario Court Justice Randall Lalande, Harvey Whidden’s constitutional rights were violated when he was pulled over on June 13, 2008.
Whidden had been waved into a vehicle safety inspection lane operated by the police because his windshield had a crack in it.
When Whidden pulled over, police noticed empty beer bottles in the bed of his pickup truck. Police also noticed he smelled like alcohol, and his speech was slowed.
The police asked Whidden to take a breath test, but the officer didn’t have a breathalyzer with him. While they waited for a breathalyzer to be brought from the station, the police officer didn’t allow Whidden to use his cell phone to call a DUI attorney.
The judge ruled that since the officer knew Whidden had a cell phone, he should have allowed him to use it to call an attorney.
According to the judge, the police waited about three hours when Whidden was at the police station and formally issued a demand for a breathalyzer before allowing him to call a lawyer.
Source: The Sadbury Star