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Criminal & DUI Lawyers, including:
Three Former Crown Prosecutors

Do Lower B.A.C. Readings Help My Impaired Driving Case?

Our firm represents many clients who have very low blood alcohol concentration readings when they are charged with impaired driving. This happens all the time where someone has a reading in the 80s. Now if you have a reading in the 80s that means that your reading gets rounded down to the absolute minimum 80. That’s the legal limit. If you’re charged with 80 or over you’re going to get charged with over 80 BAC, blood alcohol concentration.

The first question they often ask me which is a very loaded question, difficult question to answer but I am going to answer it. “Are my chances of winning a DUI charge that is an over 80 charge, 80 plus BAC charge, better if my readings are low?” The very technically correct answer to that question is this, it shouldn’t be because as a lawyer you’re looking for mistakes that the police made, Charter issues, search and seizure issues, whether the police dotted their I’s and crossed all their t’s and very technically whether your readings are high or low it shouldn’t matter but what happens when you go to court on a close case so the Judge knows those readings are low and if the Judge on a close call case sees they could go this way or that way, guilty or not guilty, they’re going to tend to bend over backwards if they can pick a lane if you’ve got very low readings. It almost seems unfair in a way that you’re right at 80. By the way 80 used to be you won but they changed the law recently.

So that’s the answer. Typically it’s a bit of a loaded question but psychologically it does affect Judges convicting people of low readings but there has to be a defence. It’s not like the Judge is going to make one up but if they can pick a lane maybe that lower reading will help them, assist them in picking a lane that’s right for you and is going to win your case.

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