It is not uncommon to have defence at trial, alleged that either the victim or accused were impaired by drug or alcohol at the time of the incident.
- If the victim is drunk it will be to diminish their credibility as a witness.
- If the suspect is drunk it will be done to suggest that they did not have the intent to commit the offence.
Police often don’t document the issue in a report because it is not perceived at the time to be relevant to the case, however, defence counsel often will still raise the issue at trial, and will muddy the water around the issue of impairment based upon lack of documentation. It is an “argument of absence” but it still seems to work.
Full, Frank and Fair disclosure of all parties’ sobriety, should be documented.