Man beats drinking and driving charge with defence of acid reflux
The Canadian Press
Published Friday, April 12, 2013 2:48PM EDT
ORANGEVILLE, Ont. -- An Ontario man has beat a drinking and driving charge with a defence of acid reflux.
Phillip Coffey was stopped on Aug. 20, 2010 in Mono, Ont., as part of a RIDE program and charged with the offence of over 80 -- having more alcohol in his system than the legal limit.
Coffey said he had consumed three glasses of wine -- which both he and his wife estimated was a full bottle, minus the five-ounce glass she had -- over about three hours at a wedding.
Coffey suffers from gastroesophogal reflux disease and he argued that the large meal he ate at the wedding exacerbated his acid reflux, which would have pushed stomach acid into his mouth.
He said he finished his last glass of wine shortly before leaving the wedding, so there would have still been unabsorbed alcohol in his stomach that could have caused the fail reading on his breath tests.
Two experts gave differing opinions to the Ontario Court of Justice, but in a decision released this week Judge Douglas Maund found that Coffey raised a reasonable doubt and he dismissed the charge.