When you’ve been arrested for impaired driving, say at a roadside. One of the first things the police are going to do besides arrest you, is that they are going to read your right to obtain and instruct council without delay. If they don’t have their card memorized, they will read a specialized pre printed form which talks about your right to instruct council. You can call a 1800 number or contact a council of your choice. The 800 number is duty council a government paid lawyer who will give you free legal advice. A very fundamental right because they will bring you to the police station. They will want to take two intoxilyzer breath samples from you and you need legal advice. You really need it right away. The police aren’t supposed to question you further after they read that right to council, and they aren’t supposed to seize anything from you. Believe it or not, taking your breath sample is a seizure from our Charter. So, you need legal advice. You do have the right to call a lawyer. You can reach out to a private lawyer if you have one. The easiest is because its pretty standard and duty council is very competent. Call duty council, call your own lawyer by any means but you may not get a hold of them at 1:30 in the morning but duty council will be available right away. They are essentially going to tell you, look, provide the breath sample otherwise you are going to get charged with a refusal of breath sample. So that’s pretty standard advice. Number two they are going to tell you to be very police and cooperative. Don’t say anything. I would tell people to sit there and be polite. Say as little as possible. The more you talk the more you may be slurring. Not to be artificial about it but be cooperative, polite and say as little as possible. Provide the breath samples. Either you pass or get charged and move on. Hopefully, you have a defense because many of these cases are defendable. But yes, you absolutely have the right to speak with a lawyer. Its over the telephone, you do not have the right to meet the lawyer in person though before those breath samples. A good tip there is that duty council is available there right away. You may have trouble reaching your own lawyer at three in the morning. 

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