R. v. Appapillai

[1995] O.J. No. 2825



A police officer found the respondent sitting behind the wheel of his motor vehicle attempting to start it up by turning the key in the ignition. At trial, the respondent testified that he knew he was not in a condition to drive the car and had asked one of his companions to drive. While on the highway, the car developed engine trouble and came to a stop. The driver stepped out of the car and opened the hood to examine the engine while the respondent moved into the driver's seat. The engine was out of gear and the hand brake was engaged.



Did the accused have �care or control of the car�?



�The appellant's factum accurately sets out the elements of the offences charged. The requisite mens rea of the offence of care or control is the intent to assume care or control after the voluntary consumption of alcohol or a drug has impaired the ability to drive. The actus reas is the assumption of care or control of a motor vehicle when the voluntary consumption of alcohol or drug has impaired the ability to drive.� (Para 9) ��the element of intent to assume care or control remains an essential element to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. It is not sufficient that the evidence discloses a series of acts, which constitute the actus reas. That alone is not conclusive proof of the complete offence of care or control, although it may permit an inference in the absence of evidence of lack of intent. In order to find the accused had care or control the Court must find that he had assumed care or control and that he intended to assume care or control.� (Para 11)