Toronto Impaired Driving and 80 & Over Charges Lawyer

Toronto Criminal Defence Lawyers Representing Clients Facing Impaired Driving and 80 & Over Charges

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious criminal offence that can have severe consequences. Impaired driving, driving 80 & over and refusing a breath or blood sample are the three main types of DUI offences.

What Is Impaired Driving?

Impaired driving is the offence of operating a motor vehicle, or conveyance (as defined in the Criminal Code) while impaired by the influence of drugs or alcohol. To establish the offence, the police and Crown Attorney must establish that the accused had alcohol or drugs in their system. Further, they must establish that the accused was impaired as a result of the alcohol or drugs.

In considering whether an individual was impaired, the courts look at various indicia (or indicators) of impairment. Factors that are assessed include the driving of the accused, as well as evidence at the time of arrest including balance, comprehension, co-ordination, fine motor skills, and reaction time. A breathalyzer or blood test result is not a necessary requirement in proving the offence of impaired driving.

What Is Driving 80 & Over?

Under the Criminal Code it is an offence to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) equal to or over 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood, or 0.08. Unlike impaired driving, the 80 and over offence does not require proof of impairment, only proof that the driver’s BAC is over the legal limit. This is proven through a breathalyzer test or blood sample.

What Is Refusing a Breath or Blood Sample?

Drivers in Canada are legally obligated to provide a breath or blood sample when a valid demand is made by an officer. Failing to do so is an offence. It is also an offence to refuse a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluation when a valid demand is made by an officer. However, these requests or demands made by an officer must be reasonable in the given situation for it to be considered lawful and valid. If the demand is not valid then the refusal may be justified.

DUI Conviction Penalties

A conviction for any of the offences previously listed carry minimum penalties which increase based on the number of previous DUI convictions.

The penalties for a first time offender are steep, and include:

  • Upon being charged an immediate 90 day license suspension, 7 day vehicle impoundment and $550 penalty under the Highway Traffic Act (through the Ministry of Transportation or “MTO”) .
  • Upon being convicted in Court, a minimum $1,000 fine (plus victim fine surcharge), a one year driving prohibition and of course a criminal record (possibly impacting employment, travel and other opportunities).
  • Upon being convicted, under the Highway Traffic Act and through the MTO, a minimum one year license suspension (it runs at the same time as the criminal driving prohibition above), attendance at a mandatory education program, requirement to use an ignition interlock device for at least a year, and the associated costs of all of these requirements.

Drivers charged or convicted of a DUI related offence should also be aware that the MTO offers a Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program that allows eligible drivers convicted of a first or second alcohol-impaired driving offence under the Criminal Code to reduce their licence suspension period as well as the period they are required to use an ignition interlock device. To qualify for certain eligibility streams, an accused driver has to plead guilty to the DUI offence within 90 days of the offence date.

It is important that those facing DUI charges consult and retain a lawyer right away. The lawyer can assess the case and determine whether the accused should fight the charge or enter an early plea to reduce their driving suspension.

As criminal defence lawyers, we are committed to providing information that empowers individuals to make informed decisions. If you or someone you know is facing DUI related charges, it is crucial to seek legal advice promptly. Our experienced team is here to help you understand the legal process and protect your rights.

We offer multiple convenient locations in TorontoWhitbyBarrie and more to serve our clients better. To begin your initial consultation and find the right criminal lawyer, please contact us at (416) 449-1400.

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