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Tom Rees | Criminal Defence Lawyer Winnipeg

What does “Care and Control” mean in Driving Impaired Cases?

Care and control, when dealing with drunk driving offences, can mean two things. The first is when a person has voluntarily assumed care or control over a motor vehicle, that is where they are either in control of the vehicle or they could set the vehicle in motion.

The second is where a person is presumed to be in care and control of the vehicle. There is a legal presumption under s. 258(1) of the Criminal Code of Canada that an individual occupying the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle is deemed to be in care and control of the vehicle unless the individual establishes that they occupied the drivers seat for a purpose other than setting the vehicle in motion or assisting in it’s operation.

Supreme Court of Canada Case, The Queen v. Toews, [1985] 2 S.C.R. 119 provides an example of a scenario where the presumption in s. 258(1) did not apply.

There are, of course, other authorities dealing with the question. The cases cited, however, illustrate the point and lead to the conclusion that acts of care or control, short of driving, are acts which involve some use of the car or its fittings and equipment, or some course of conduct associated with the vehicle which would involve a risk of putting the vehicle in motion so that it could become dangerous. Each case will depend on its own facts and the circumstances in which acts of care or control may be found will vary widely.


To read the Tom Rees & Co. Article about the different impaired driving charges, click here.

For information about Minimum Sentences for Impaired Driving Offences, click here.

To read more about the different breath test devices, click here.


*Note: The information on this page is for general knowledge and is not legal advice.