Does a trial judge have to consider the evidence that supports a finding of criminal negligence in a dangerous driving case?

British Columbia, Canada

The following excerpt is from R. v. Lockhart, 1993 CanLII 501 (BC CA):

36 The trial judge's finding of criminal negligence was not only based upon the appellant's knowledge of the defects in the vehicle, it was also based upon the appellant's failure to see the approaching motorcyclist on the open road in front of him and upon his having had some drink. In my opinion the learned judge's reasoning is supported by the reasoning of this court in Regina v. Wingerter (1987), 46 M.V.R. 313 at p. 319. In that case, Anderson J.A., writing for the court in a case involving a charge of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, held that the trial judge was entitled to take into account not only the abnormal driving but other conduct of the accused including his falling asleep at the wheel, his statements and the evidence of his drinking. In my opinion, the learned trial judge did not err in the approach he took in reaching his conclusions.

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