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Bill C-46 has strengthened Canada’s impaired driving laws. Police forces across Canada have recently stated that they will be increasingly vigilant in enforcing DUI laws and Bill C-46 will assist them in this regard. Impaired driving has become a serious criminal offence. Parts one and two of Bill C-46 now:
- Enforce new criminal offences for driving with a blood drug concentration that is at or above the legal blood drug concentration limit;
- Allows police officers to demand a driver to provide a sample of saliva, blood, or urine for drug screening;
- Creates broad police powers to determine and analyze excess alcohol levels and detect drug impairment;
- Expands the definition of vehicles, aircraft and vessels that are considered to be “conveyances” versus the previous definition of “motor vehicles;”
- Establishes a new driving offence for failing to stop for the police;
- Significantly increased the punishment for excess blood alcohol concentrations, with escalating fines for higher blood alcohol levels;
- Eliminates the “last drink” defence;
- Allows the police to take random roadside breath samples without a reasonable suspicion that you have been drinking and driving; and
- Creates wider definitions and consequences for driving while prohibited.
The “Over 80” Rule
The “Over 80” rule means that for you to be charged with impaired driving, the police must establish that your blood alcohol content (BAC) was over 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 ml. of blood. To show that you were driving impaired by alcohol or over the legal limit, the police will take a sample of your breath or blood to determine your BAC. To determine whether you were driving while impaired by a drug, they will take a sample of your saliva, urine, or blood. Canadian law states that refusing to give a sample of the same to the police is grounds for an arrest. The timing of a breath, blood, saliva, or urine sample is critical and is governed by various provisions in the Criminal Code. If you or a loved one have been arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, contact a DUI lawyer to protect you from harsh sentencing.
Over 80 vs. Impaired Driving: Which Charge Applies to You?
When most people are pulled over for suspected impaired driving, they are very concerned about their blood alcohol level if they have been drinking. Almost no one thinks about what type of impaired driving charge they would receive if they are arrested.
Canadian laws on impaired driving are not all the same. If you are arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol or a drug, you may be charged with either impaired driving by alcohol or a drug or Over 80. Although you might have heard them used interchangeably, these charges are very different from one another. Even though you may be charged with both impaired driving and Over 80, you cannot be convicted of both. For example, if you are found guilty of both impaired driving and Over 80 at trial, the judge will enter a conviction for one of the charges and “stay” the other charge (a stay is similar to a withdrawal of a charge) based on the R. v.Kineapple principle.
- An Impaired Driving Charge depends on how alcohol affected your ability to drive; you may be charged with impaired driving if you appear under the influence to the arresting police officer (i.e. poor driving, odour of alcohol, stumbling, slurred speech, difficulty standing or co-ordination problems, etc.).
- An Over 80 Charge depends on your blood alcohol content. If your blood alcohol is over the legal limit (0.08), you may be charged with Over 80, even if you do not appear to be under the influence of alcohol.
Contact a Criminal and DUI Lawyer
At Kruse Law, our goal is to help people who were arrested and charged with impaired driving or Over 80. We guide our clients through every step of the court process and do our best to win their case or obtain the best result possible. Our lawyers are compassionate, professional, experienced, and knowledgeable in DUI, Over 80, and Canadian impaired driving laws. We are committed to working hard on your case in your best interests. If you have been arrested for driving under the influence in Ontario, contact us at +1-800-699-0806 for a complimentary evaluation of your case, or send an e-mail to [email protected].