Thursday, April 3, 2008
From Music Critics' Whipping Boy To Judge's Whipping Boy, Take 2: Nickelback's Chad Kroeger Convicted Of Drunk Driving
Earlier, I posted about the strange DUI trial of Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger in a Canadian court. As I noted, an officer pulled Kroeger over for speeding in his Lamborghini and decided to give him a breathalyzer test only after having Kroeger blow in his face and detecting the odor of alcohol. I noted that the B.C. Supreme Court had determined that under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the "blowing in the face" practice used by the officer is unconstitutional, but the judge in Kroeger's case nonetheless failed to exclude the breathalyzer test results, finding that the practice only minimally intrudes upon a person's body. Because the breathalyzer test was not excluded and because it indicated that Kroeger's BAC was nearly twice the legal limit, Kroeger was convicted of driving under the influence yesterday.
This makes me repeat my initial concern with the judge's ruling: What's the point? By declaring the "blowing in the face" practice unconstitutional but nonetheless failing to exclude evidence obtained as a result of the practice, police are not deterred from using the practice and civilians are not protected in any practical manner. According to the judge's ruling, the B.C. Supreme Court's opinion has no teeth and no practical effect in any drunk driving case.