As of December 3, 2018, York Regional Police have been releasing names of people charged with impaired driving every Monday morning in order to bring more attention to this issue and deter people from driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

This announcement is a direct result of police frustration with the steadily rising number of drunk drivers[1]. In 2018, York Regional Police reported 1,650 impaired-related charges laid, with 22 people charged with impaired driving between Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day[2]. The numbers have been largely increasing, showing a rise of over 400 incidents over the last three years.[3]

While some may have concerns over the “name-and-shame” campaign violating the drivers’ right to privacy, York Regional Police have authority to publicly name people who are charged with a criminal offence, unless such reporting is defamatory. Generally, a statement indicating that a person has been charged is not defamatory because reasonable persons are mindful that an accused is presumed innocent until proven guilty.[4] Moreover, charged drunk drivers’ rights are not violated as the Canadian criminal justice system is an open process and the identity of any adult charged with a crime forms part of the public record.

Regardless of whether you believe that the actions of York Regional Police are right or wrong, it is best that you are aware that these changes have been implemented.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, call the team at Jasmine Daya & Co. at 416-967-9100 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.

 

 

[1] Const. Andy Pattenden from “York Regional Police will release names of accused impaired drivers” Toronto Sun (December 3, 2018).

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Miguna v. Toronto (City) Police Services Board, [2004] O.J. No. 2455 (S.C.) at para. 6, aff’d [2005] O.J. No. 107 (C.A.).