Impaired driving is a very tricky and complicated criminal offense because it includes a wide range of different criminal offences. Collectively known as Driving Under the Influence, it includes:
The following sections cover different aspects of drunk driving.
Suspected drunk drivers are asked to take a roadside breath test so their blood alcohol concentrations can be checked. If the concentration is less than 50 milligrams in 100 milliliters of blood, then the result is a pass. A warn status is between 50 to 80 milligrams. If you have over 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood, then you fail the test, upon which you may be charged.
If you are faced with a charge of impaired driving, don't limit your options. An expert criminal lawyer can assess your situation and advise you on appropriate defenses. Don't give up and automatically enter a guilty plea to a charge of impaired driving. The consequences may be very serious, you will temporarily lose your right to drive which may result in your inability to work. Also, your insurance premiums will rise exponentially if convicted of an impaired driving offence.
For persons accused of impaired driving, the minimum penalty is a fine of $1,000, coupled with a twelve-month driving prohibition. Whether or not you consent to providing a breath sample, you will still be charged.
In Ontario, since the new measures enacted in May 2009, drivers with a blood alcohol concentration of 50 to 80 milligrams in 100 milliliters of blood can be arrested for drinking and driving. First time offenders are given a three-day license suspension, as well as a $150 fine. If you are caught again within five years, you get a one-week suspension and will have to attend an alcohol education program, as well as pay a $150 fine. If you get caught a third time, your license will be suspended for a month and you will be required to have an ignition interlock device installed in your car for six months.
Your insurance company will also consider you a high risk driver, and will likely increase your insurance premiums. Insurance rates of over $10,000 a year for at least five years is not uncommon. Sometimes, insurance companies will even cancel your insurance policy altogether.
Because there are so many things to be considered, impaired driving cases, Over 80 cases and impaired care and control cases are very complicated and require the aid of an experienced criminal lawyer. When consulting with a criminal lawyer, it is important to be prepared to answer a number of questions, such as the circumstances of the charges, the strength of the case and what the Crown will need to prove guilt, any statements that you may have released, any possible defenses, and also if you are a Canadian citizen.