Oliver Karafa, a 21-year-old motorist, might be spending time in jail after he was found guilty of impaired driving, dangerous driving and criminal negligence in a crash that killed his passenger friend David Chiang.
On April 3, 2012, Karafa was driving his Land Rover on Mount Pleasant Rd. near Stibbard Ave. when he lost control of the steering wheel causing the vehicle to collide with a street pole and shearing it in half.
Chiang, a 24-year-old Extreme Fitness trainer, died on the scene after suffering extensive injuries to the head when he was thrown out of the vehicle that according to authorities was speeding at least twice the 50 km/h limit.
Prior to driving, it has been estimated that Karafa drank at least 200 to 270mg of alcohol.
However, the police officers who first responded to the accident, failed to inform Karafa that Chiang had died and that as a result he is facing a charge of impaired driving causing death.
The lapse, deemed as intentional, was a breach of Karafa’s right to consult with a lawyer and as a result caused his first breath sample to be thrown out as evidence in court.
However, Karafa’s second breath sample was found to be admissible after Detective Constable Carl Andersen, properly advised him to consult a lawyer.
Andersen told Karafa of the charge that would be filed against him and that it could lead to a jail term.
Driving a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol is a serious Criminal Code offence in Canada. Failing to provide a breath sample either into a roadside screening device or into an Intoxilyzer or Breathalyzer at the police station is also an equally serious criminal offence. If you are convicted of a driving under the influence (DUI) charge, depending on the severity of the charge and your personal background, you will either receive a hefty fine and a victim fine surcharge or a jail term; your driver’s licence will automatically be suspended for a significant period of time; your insurance rates will skyrocket and you will have to go through the Ontario “Back on Track Program” and potentially be subject to the Ontario Ignition Interlock Program. Sentences for impaired causing death typically result in jail terms in the penitentiary of three to four years or more and lengthy driving prohibitions.
When arrested or held in custody for impaired driving, you need to consult with an experienced DUI lawyer who will advise you of your rights and inform you regarding the entire arrest and breath test procedure.
If you are charged with impaired driving or blowing over the legal limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 mls. of blood (commonly referred to as an “over 80” charge), you should retain an expert DUI lawyer to defend you in court. A surprising number of impaired driving cases are winnable and even if the Crown’s case against you is strong, an experienced DUI lawyer will be able to negotiate the best possible sentence for you to attempt to minimize your fine or jail term and the length of your driving suspension. Every DUI case is unique and it is important that all the details of your case are carefully examined by a criminal lawyer who focuses on impaired driving and DUI defence.
Your legal counsel will help you understand your rights, determine if they were violated during the arrest, provide you with advice whether there are other viable defences and will obtain the best possible result for you.