This case highlights what it means to act reasonably when defending against a strict liability offence.

The defendant violated a statutory condition of his car insurance policy by driving the automobile without legal authorization — he had a blood alcohol level above 0 (The policy indicated that, the insured shall not drive or operate or permit any other person to drive or operate the automobile unless the insured or other person is authorized by law to drive or operate it).

Since this statutory condition was found to be a strict liability offence, the defendant was afforded the defence of due diligence. The judge found that the defendant had an honest and reasonable belief that his blood alcohol content was 0. The judge’s finding was supported by the fact that witnesses who observed the defendant on the morning of the accident saw no evidence that he had alcohol in his system, and by the fact that the defendant had slept for a number of hours before driving.

The judge found that the defendant had an honest and reasonable belief that his blood alcohol content was 0. The judge’s finding was supported by the fact that witnesses who observed the defendant on the morning of the accident saw no evidence that he had alcohol in his system, and by the fact that the defendant had slept for a number of hours before driving.

 

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