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 SankoffLeave a Comment

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.

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