CASE LAW - R v Bekkers

BC Courts Coat of ArmsClare Bekkers spent the evening at a friend's residence in Victoria drinking and using cocaine. The following day she collected her young children and headed home to Nanaimo. When she started her journey that day at 12:30 pm her blood alcohol level was between 93 and 148 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. There was some indication that she may have consumed beer in her vehicle on the way home.

South of Nanaimo, it was typical winter driving, just below freezing with wet roads. Witnesses placed the Bekkers vehicle over the speed limit, anxious to pass and finally veering into the oncoming lane near the Cassidy Inn. The resulting collision killed two of the children and resulted in Ms. Bekkers being charged with 8 criminal counts involving dangerous driving and impaired driving.

Mr. Justice Halfyard found Ms. Bekkers not guilty of all charges and stated that while it has been proved that her manner of driving fell below the standard of a reasonable driver, and was objectively dangerous, I am not satisfied beyond a reasonable doubt that her driving conduct was a marked departure from the standard of a reasonable driver.

I find it disturbing after reading the decision that the standard of a reasonable driver seems to be set quite low.

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Read the Reasons for Judgement - R v Bekkers

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