The government brought in very significant amendments to impaired driving by alcohol or drug laws in late 2018, and one of the significant changes is the offence is no longer ‘over 80’, 80 or over milligrams of alcohol in 100 milligrams of blood.
The offence is now changed to ’80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milligrams, or over’. So a person who’s right at 80 is going to be charged. In the old days – before the amendments – if you read 80 you will not be charged.
This presents difficulties now for people who blow, say, 89. Again, before the amendments, the police might charge you at 89. If you hired a clever lawyer, that lawyer would be able to argue at that time through science and practicality in court that an 89 reading should be rounded down to 80. And you could usually win that case or potentially convince a crown to withdraw the case.
That defence is no longer going to fly – cause you’re caught – it’s 80 or over. So that’s a significant change. I mean, there’s many other defences to these charges, hundreds literally, but that’s one that’s not going to fly anymore at this point.