As reported by CBC News, a police officer pulled over the woman despite lacking any clear evidence of impaired driving. According to the judge, she was driving safely and in her own lane when the officer pulled her over as part of a routine traffic enforcement program.
Upon speaking to the woman, the officer detected the strong odor of marijuana. In questioning, she admitted to having used marijuana before driving her car. The officer had her perform standard field sobriety tests, including walking heel-to-toe and touching her finger to her nose, a test she failed on five of the first six attempts. The officer also noted the woman had reddened eyes and that a subsequent urine screen confirmed the presence of marijuana metabolites in her system.
However, the judge called into question how these tests would accurately determine someone’s ability to drive in an unimpaired fashion. “I would have appreciated some evidence as to how these observations related to the accused’s ability to drive a motor vehicle,” the judge said.
The judge noted the woman hadn’t demonstrated any impaired driving, she spoke clearly and responded clearly to officer’s questions, and she seemed to have no serious balance problems. In acquitting the woman, the judge declared there was reasonable doubt as to her actual impairment and questioned whether such impairment tests taken 90 minutes after driving provide any insight into her driving abilities.