A suggestion by Estevan police that repeat drunk drivers should have their vehicles permanently seized has people talking about the consequences of getting behind the wheel while impaired.
Estevan police chief Paul Ladouceur has said such a measure would be considered only on a case-by-case basis and that an application to seize a vehicle permanently would be made in special circumstances.
Saskatoon criminal defense lawyer Mark Brayford told 650 CKOM the measure is applied more commonly for drug traffickers, but it’s important to maintain a case-by-case analysis.
“Because when it isn’t, it causes a reaction that the law might be heavy-handed or unfair,” he said.
“We do see situations where relatively small grow ops cause someone’s house to be taken away, or a small amount of marijuana causes a family vehicle to be taken away.”
Brayford suggested such a measure could be perceived as unfair if the seizure of an offender’s property was to have an impact on the offender’s family.
“The actual seizure of assets that might affect, to an unfair extent others, than just the offender sometimes is seen as over-reaching,” Brayford said.
Brayford also said the measure could be applied unfairly.
“When you’re in jail, it is the same for everybody. Whereas having a $500 ‘beater’ forfeited versus an $85,000 half-tonne [truck], it’s quite the difference as far as penalty.”