Driver charged after suspected impaired driving in Central Frontenac crash

Photo by Lucas Mulder.

A man from Central Frontenac Township is facing charges after he crashed his vehicle and was observed to be under the influence, but refused to provide a breath sample to the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).

The single motor vehicle collision occurred on Echo Lake Road, located northwest of Godfrey, on Thursday, Dec. 30, 2021. Officers from the Frontenac County Detachment of the OPP were dispatched to the incident just after 5 p.m., according to a press release from the OPP.

The ensuing investigation found that the driver had left the roadway, striking a utilities pole before coming to a stop. The driver sustained non-life-threatening injuries, police said, and he was transported to hospital by ambulance. While in hospital, the OPP brought a breath test unit from their Detachment, but the driver refused to provide a breath sample.

Provincial Constable Richard Martin, Community Safety and Media Relations Officer for the OPP East Region, explained that a roadside test is not required for an impaired driving incident, but that the driver can instead be breath tested at the detachment. In this case, as the suspect was transported to hospital prior to being taken into custody, the OPP brought the breath testing device to the hospital to carry out the test. However, because the driver refused to take the test, he is assumed to have been impaired, Martin detailed.

“When a person refuses to provide a breath sample for a suspected impaired offence, they are charged with refusal [to comply with a demand] – No test, no test results,” he explained.

Such was the case for the driver in the December 30 incident, who was taken into custody from the hospital. The driver, Steve Gregory Smith, 28, was subsequently charged with the following Criminal Code offences:

  • Dangerous operation of a conveyance (motor vehicle)
  • Failure or refusal to comply with a demand

Additionally, Smith’s driver’s licence was automatically suspended for 90 days, and the vehicle was towed and impounded for seven days. Smith will be responsible for all related fees and fines.

Smith was released on an Undertaking and is scheduled to appear in the Ontario Court of Justice in Kingston in late January 2022.

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