The Richard Suter Case: Should You Refuse a Lawful Breath Sample Demand? (15mins)

In Case Comments, Case Comments, Criminal Law, Sentencing, Specific Offences by Peter Sankoff

The Richard Suter case has been the subject of big news in Edmonton. Suter caused a terrible tragedy when he drove his Jeep through the window of a restaurant patio, killing a 2.5 year old boy. Suter was recently sentenced to the “light” sentence of four months in prison for unlawfully failing to provide a breath sample when he knew that a person had died as a result of his actions, and the sentence caused great consternation in Edmonton. In this video blog, I address two popular notions about the case: (1) That Suter “got off” lightly; and (2) that people should start refusing breath sample demands to avoid liability in future cases. Not surprisingly, I reach the conclusion that both of this are MISCONCEPTIONS about the case.  Suter may have gotten a “harsher” result than his actions merited, while there is almost never a good reason not to comply with a breath sample demand.