University student acquitted of liquor possession where police officer had no reasonable grounds for warrantless search of backpack
R. v. S. (E.)
Public law --- Liquor control — Search and seizure — Search without warrant — Validity of search
2016 BCPC 270
British Columbia Provincial Court
Accused was minor who was university student — Accused was observed carrying backpack outside university residence, by police officer — Officer searched backpack and found several beer cans — Accused was charged with unlawful possession of liquor — Accused claimed that officer did not have reasonable grounds to make search — Accused was tried on charge under provincial liquor control law — Accused acquitted — Only objective ground cited by officer for search was shape of backpack, which appeared to hold 12-pack of beer — Grounds did not reach level needed to conduct warrantless search, which was allowed — Officer could not rely on intuition as ground for search — Initial part of search did not reveal case, as opposed to eventually revealed cans — Search should have stopped after initial portion.