Be a Careful Good Samaritan

Pulling Car Out of DitchEven though our winter driving season is almost over, the situation of stopping to pull an unfortunate driver out of the ditch came to mind. I think everyone realizes that care has to be exercised in pulling the vehicle out so that another collision doesn't occur. However, being a good samaritan could make you a party to an offence.

Take the instance of an impaired driver who has gone off the road. You feel sorry for them when you stop and find that they are just stuck and not hurt. Sure, they smell of liquor, but they don't look too bad. A quick pull and everyone is on the way again.

You are now a party to the offence of impaired driving because you have assisted the impaired driver to commit the offence. Section 21(1)(b) of the Criminal Code makes you liable to the same penalty as the driver. If a collision were to result after that driver went on their way you could also face civil liability in the matter.

These circumstances probably don't occur too often, but before you pull someone back onto the road take a good look at them and the circumstances before you offer help. If you have any doubts, offer to go for help rather than providing it yourself. A call to the police will provide both assessment and assistance and remove any risk to yourself.

Reference Links:

Parties to Offences - Section 21 Criminal Code of Canada

Comments

Another great law

We call the police, we complain to ICBC about the bad, aggressive, and traffic violators. They do nothing in almost all cases. We are a good samatarian because we have morals, ethics, and good values. Then we we get a criminal record or get charged for being a good samaritan.  What kind of message is society and law makers send us?  The message is crystal clear. It doesn't pay to be a "good" and honourable person and play by the rules. 

Your Are Wrong

Taking an impaired driver out of the ditch and turning him or her loose on the road is not moral, ethical or good values. The law should send you a message that helping a criminal is not a good thing to do.

Nope, I am not, you are

Oh my, how misguided you are.  I would do my part and contact the police. It's up to them to do what they want. If there was NO law about this and I let the person go, would you still say it is not good morals, ethics, or values?  If there was a law banning Harry Potter books and I saw some kid reading it and I didn't say anything, would that be against "Ethics, morals, and values"? According to you, it would be. Tsk, tsk, tsk.

Ethics, morals, and values have nothing to do with letting the driver go. Who am I to determine if the driver is drunk? Do I have a breathalizer? Am I a trained police officer? Am I paid (and trained) to put my life on the line each day? Get a grip.   You're totally off the mark on this one, DriveBC.  

You,  like the lawmakers of this law are trying to put the blame on someone else when in fact the blame is on themselves and the "system".   Afterall, as we have seen in politics and in law enforcement enquiries, it's always easier to put fault on someone else and not those who are in positions of authority. You're following the flawed thinking of those clowns, I will not. 

Google Ads