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Richmond man loses drunk-driving appeal
The B.C. Supreme Court has upheld the drunk-driving conviction of a Richmond man who pulled over for police even though he wasn't signaled to do so.
Jaspaul Singh Aulakh appealed his conviction by a Richmond provincial court judge on the grounds the judge misapprehended the evidence at trial, that he failed to consider all of the evidence, and that he applied inconsistent logic and circular reasoning to the evidence relevant to his driving pattern.
Around 4 a.m. on Dec. 4, 2010, Aulakh was driving south on Marine Drive when he was observed by an off-duty police officer driving onto the Arthur Laing Bridge at about 70 kilometres per hour.
The officer saw the driver "slam on his brakes to avoid the only other vehicle on the bridge at that time of the morning. The appellant was then observed remaining close to the bumper of this other vehicle in tailgate fashion."
A short while later, the officer saw the appellant approach a police roadblock that was in the midst of being dismantled by another police officer.
"The appellant's vehicle straddled the lanes on the overpass for about 100 to 200 feet as if he was going to change lanes, but he did not actually change lanes. Subsequently, when (the officer) attempted to pass the appellant's vehicle, the appellant swerved into the constable's lane of travel causing him to honk his horn and hit the brakes to avoid a collision."
After the off-duty officer passed Aulakh, he continued to watch him in the rear view mirror, and saw Aulakh continue to straddle two lanes along Russ Baker Way and Miller Road on Sea Island.
That's when Aulakh slowed down and pulled over behind the police cruiser without any signal from the officer.
"At this point, Const. Krygier pulled over and engaged the appellant and his passenger who was slumped over and unconscious. Const. Krygier noted that a smell of alcohol was coming from the vehicle and the appellant had glossy, bloodshot eyes."
Const. Krygier then advised Aulakh he was being investigated for impaired driving and ordered him to exit the vehicle.
Though Aulakh was unsteady on his feet, he was co-operative, talkative and friendly.
Const. Krygier also noted the "smell of alcohol coming from the vehicle and the appellant had glossy, bloodshot eyes."
Another officer, Const. Lee, who attended the scene "detected a strong odour of alcohol on the appellant's breath throughout the five observation periods that were necessitated by the appellant's continued burping."
Justice Catherine J. Bruce found no "palpable and overriding error of fact" involved in Aulakh's conviction.
"The evidence of alcohol consumption may have been limited and the impairment level slight; however, the learned trial judge's assessment that the evidence as a whole proved beyond a reasonable doubt that the appellant's ability to drive was impaired by alcohol cannot be faulted," Bruce wrote while dismissing the appeal.