Person involved in B.C. crash must wait longer to get their blood back

Judge extends blood seizure order as police conduct Surrey impaired driving investigation

A person involved in a Surrey traffic crash in 2017 will have to wait longer to get his or her two vials of blood back from the government after a B.C. Supreme Court judge granted an extension of the seizure order as police continue their impaired driving investigation.

Justice Robert Jenkins decided so on June 15 in New Westminster, finding it difficult to imagine for what possible reason the individual might need their tubes of blood returned to them.

The Crown had applied for a “Judicial Authorization for an Order for the Further Detention of Things Seized” concerning two vials containing the blood of a “potential accused” that was taken while that person, whose name has not been made public, was in hospital following a single-automobile crash in Surrey on Feb. 19, 2017.

A Mountie armed with a warrant seized the blood, which was drawn by hospital staff, on Feb, 24, 2017, at Royal Columbian Hospital related to an impaired driving investigation.

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A justice of the peace granted the initial detention order for the blood samples on March 1, 2017, allowing for them to be held until May 23, 2017.

An affidavit by Constable Dharm Prihar indicated the blood was to have been analyzed by the RCMP Forensic Assessment Centre within that period, “however the submission of the exhibit to the lab and analysis took longer than expected.”

“I believe that further detention is crucial because of its evidentiary value,” Prihar told the court.

Jenkins granted the Crown an extension of up to 18 months from the date the samples were seized.

“The ‘things” which are the subject of this application are vials of blood taken from the suspect,” Jenkins noted in his reasons for judgment. “There is no reason given in the matter before me of ‘the exact nature of their need for return’ and it is difficult to imagine what possible need the suspect may have for the same. The items which are the subject of detention could not possibly be needed for any purpose such as if a cellular telephone, a vehicle or other object had been seized which may be used on a regular basis by its owner.”



tom.zytaruk@surreynowleader.com

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