Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Drunk drivers could lose vehicles

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MONTREAL -- Canada's highest court has ruled the state can confiscate the vehicle of a repeat drunk driver, which overturns a lower court verdict.

The Supreme Court of Canada issued the 7-0 decision Thursday after considering the potential reasons for a judge to prevent the seizure of property used during a crime.

The ruling provides ammunition for a plan to increase vehicle seizures, announced this week by the Quebec government. Justice Minister Bertrand St-Arnaud said it provided Quebec's 500 Crown prosecutors with a new tool to implement the plan for more seizures.

The justices ruled that a Quebec court was wrong to deny the forfeiture order against Alphide Manning, who was arrested near Baie-Comeau in April 2010.

It was his fifth conviction for drunk driving. The previous offences occurred in 2009, 1989, 1982 and 1975. He also had three probation violations over that period.

-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 18, 2013 A17

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