Ontario

Legislation Sections Database at defencecounsel.com for:

DUI Procedure/Evidence

Power to Stop by a Police Officer

Highway Traffic Act of Ontario

Section number:

216 (1)

Power to Stop by a Police Officer

216. (1) A police officer, in the lawful execution of his or her duties and responsibilities, may require the driver of a motor vehicle to stop and the driver of a motor vehicle, when signalled or requested to stop by a police officer who is readily identifiable as such, shall immediately come to a safe stop.

(2) Every person who contravenes subsection (1) is guilty of an offence and on conviction is liable, subject to subsection (3),

(a) to a fine of not less than $1,000 and not more than $10,000;

(b) to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months; or

(c) to both a fine and imprisonment.

This section gives police a broad power to stop vehicles on Ontario roads.

In the past lawyers used to litigate over 80 cases on the basis that the stop was illegal, that the police had no good reason for pulling the vehicle over, leading to the formation of reasonable suspicion of alcohol in the body or reasonable and probable grounds to arrest for impaired driving or over 80. Unfortunately for those charged it seems that police now have a very broad power to stop any vehicle on the road for whatever reason. Just about any reason can be justified under the Highway Traffic Act.

Abuses by police of this power will continue to be litigated in cases of racial profiling.

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biss@lawyers.ca

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