There’s a mildly alarming trend which has followed the amendments we’ve had to impaired driving in late 2018. Here’s the situation. The police in the province now – it seems on almost every case – are charging drivers who are charged with ‘impaired by alcohol’ – they’re charging them with ‘impaired by alcohol or drug’.

They’re charging them with both. So this presents difficulties if someone’s unsophisticated and they don’t know what to do with this. So if you decide to plead guilty to this charge, say if you don’t have a lawyer when you go to court, what you need to do before you plead guilty is tell the judge to delete the ‘or by drug’ before you plead guilty. So you’re pleading guilty to ‘impaired by alcohol’.

If you don’t do that, the Ministry of Transportation will find out that you’re impaired by drug, even though you weren’t, and you won’t qualify for ignition interlock. There are people caught on this right now in the province. Lawyers need to understand this and more importantly the public needs to understand this if they plead guilty to an impaired by alcohol charge so they don’t get caught and they can qualify for Stream A ignition interlock.

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