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Ontario DUI Cases - Impaired Driving Defence Centre

Chris Avery Criminal Lawyer for Impaired Driving Charges

 

Recent Successes



At the Impaired Driving Defence Centre, Christopher A. Avery takes your privacy very seriously.  He also understands the curiosity of potential clients regarding our track record.  For these reasons we have changed identifying details of the below cases in order to protect our clients’ privacy.  We do not post the reported decisions of our clients’ cases as they are findable on a google search by name if I reproduce them here.


Please know that all cases are different and that past results on someone else’s case are not a guarantee of a favourable outcome for yours.


Please find a very small sample below of some of more recent successful cases:


A day at the pool
Our client in Kitchener was a delightful senior with no criminal record.  She consumed a number of glasses of wine at a friend’s pool and drove home.  She was pulled over for speeding and upon being asked about providing a roadside screening device she advised the officer “you might as well arrest me because I’m going to fail anyways.”  The officer obliged her and arrested her without conducting the test.  She blew 130 at the police station. 
Following a contested trial, all the evidence was excluded and she was acquitted on the basis that her Charter right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure as well as unlawful arrest or detention were violated.  Given the layperson’s lack of understanding of what a ‘fail’ on a roadside screening device means, the officer ought to have known better than to rely on this in order to make the arrest.


The showoff:
While showing off to his teenaged nephew, a client crashed his brand new sports car going around a gravel covered turn in the country in northern Ontario.  The client sent his nephew back home and spent an hour waiting for the tow truck.  When he realized that the vehicle was inoperable and that he had a six-pack of beer in the trunk he decided to sit in the ditch and drink beer while he waited for the tow truck.  Unfortunately for the client the police arrived prior to the tow truck.  The client blew over the limit.
All criminal charges against the client were withdrawn without a trial following extensive pretrial work in which we demonstrated to the Crown’s satisfaction that the post-operation drinking would have placed the client’s BAC under the legal limit at the relevant time.


The quick drive home:
In small-town eastern Ontario, our client left a bar having just finished his last beer.  He lived approximately three minutes away from the bar. He was pulled over within a minute of starting to drive.  An officer smelled alcohol on his breath and arrested him.  Upon a lawful demand, the client provided two samples of his breath, each being slightly over the limit.  Following a hotly contested three-day trial involving the calling of expert toxicological evidence demonstrating that he would not have been over the limit at the time of driving as his last drink had not yet been digested, the client was acquitted of both impaired driving and operation while over 80.  This was a successful application of what is colloquially known as the “last-drink defence”.


It’s never hopeless:
In northwestern Ontario the client was driving home from a friend’s house in his truck.  He threw up on himself while driving on the trans-Canada highway and had pulled over to clean the vomit from his clothes.  An officer approached the vehicle, unnoticed by the client, and detected the strong odour of an alcoholic beverage and what were described as obvious symptoms of intoxication.  Following his arrest the client’s BAC was in excess of 240 mg of alcohol in 100mL of blood. 
Unfortunately, despite what was apparently an overwhelming Crown case, the client was working a lucrative job in an industry that required his access to motor vehicles.  Attempting to win was the only option.
Thirty minutes into Mr. Avery’s cross-examination of the arresting officer the Crown withdrew all criminal charges.


More effort please:
After leaving a gala, the client and a friend were driving home.  He was stopped for allegedly rolling through a stop sign.  Upon being stopped, the police smelled alcohol and made a roadside screening device demand.  The client failed the test and was arrested.    The client requested to speak to his spouse in order to obtain a lawyer’s name and number.  Following a half-hearted attempt by the officer to call his spouse, the client said ‘forget it, I’ll just blow.”He blew over the limit at the station and was charged with over 80.  Following an often forgotten but still-binding precedent of the Supreme Court of Canada, the breath readings were excluded.  The police are required to provide a special caution when a person changes their mind about the exercise of their right to counsel.


Still more effort please:
In Thunder Bay, a client was arrested for drinking and driving.  He requested to speak to counsel, but upon being foiled trying to call a few local lawyers from the station, just gave up and provided a breath sample without speaking to counsel.  As per the same precedent above, the charges were dismissed after the breath samples were excluded.


Pardon me:
In the Hamilton Region, at the St. Catharines Courthouse, a client had all of their criminal charges withdrawn as they were not offered an interpreter during the investigation process despite having only minimal conversational English. 


A low blow:
In Thunder Bay, a client had all criminal charges withdrawn following extensive negotiations with the Crown Attorney regarding her humanitarian circumstances.  Further, she was refused access to a bathroom during an extensive investigation and delay in entering the police station. She suffered an accident during the investigation and was not allowed to clean herself up for an extended period of time.  After months of tough negotiating, all criminal charges were withdrawn.


Back to school:
A young Egyptian man was allowed to plead guilty to careless driving in exchange for a withdrawal of all criminal charges.  Mr. Avery was able to convince the Niagara Crown Attorney that this was the just outcome given the circumstances of his arrest and his status as a young student with no criminal record.


Pressing Pause:
A young man in the Newmarket Courthouse was arrested while sleeping in his running car in the middle of an intersection.  The police arrived, indicated they smelled a strong smell of alcohol, and arrested the client immediately for impaired operation.  Marihuana was found in the centre console.  At the station, the client blew the limit, rather than over.  However, he was charged with impaired driving based upon his presentation at the scene.  Further, the Crown attempted to call an expert toxicologist to testify that despite blowing under 80, the accused would still have been impaired.
On the trial date, all criminal charges were withdrawn against the client based upon delay pressures and the inability of the Crown to call their expert witness to prove impairment.


A rough RIDE:
In Fort Frances, a client entered a RIDE program where he admitted to having consumed alcohol.  He provided a roadside sample, failed and was arrested.  He blew over the limit at the police station.  As a result of pretrial negotiations with the prosecution regarding the strength of their case and the motions to exclude the evidence filed by the defence team, all criminal charges against the client were withdrawn the morning of trial.


The fire:
A client in Quinte West (Trenton) was out drinking with some friends on the shoreline.  She got in an argument with her boyfriend when he left the campfire in the park and she drove off looking for him.  Her driving was described by various people in town as erratic and she was shouting at her boyfriend out the open window.  She drove back to the campfire, chugged their vodka, and began walking down the park path.  She was stopped by police and arrested for impaired.  She blew more than double the legal limit. 
Following a trial, the client was acquitted of all charges as the defence was able to raise a reasonable doubt as to the identity of the driver of the vehicle as well as raise a doubt as to whether the alcohol was consumed before or after the driving.


Almost French Fried:
The client, who was a government employee was arrested for impaired following a late night trip through the McDonald’s drive-thru.  She was processed at the scene and provided samples of her breath which were over the legal limit.  Through extensive negotiations leading up to the trial date, focussed both on humanitarian grounds as well as her legal defences, all criminal charges were withdrawn against the client, allowing her to keep her job in the federal government.


International Incident:
The client, who lived in Canada near Windsor but worked in Detroit, was randomly stopped during a RIDE check.  She blew slightly over the limit.  Following a close analysis of her disclosure, all criminal charges were withdrawn.


The Guardrail:
The client, upon leaving a family event, lost control of his vehicle and struck a guardrail in front of witnesses.  His vehicle was inoperable.  He was brought back to the police station and charged in the Newmarket Courthouse with Over 80 and Impaired Operation.  On the morning of the trial, Mr. Avery advised the Crown that the breath samples were taken just outside the two hour limit.  All criminal charges were withdrawn.

Christopher A. Avery

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The IDDC - Defending Drinking & Driving Charges Across Ontario

Our Winning Record!

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Read Frequently Asked Questions About DUI Charges & Penalties in Ontario:

  • An officer requires sufficient grounds to make a lawful demand for a breath sample to be provided either at the roadside or the station. Furthermore at the roadside your legal jeopardy has to be clearly explained to you and, in circumstances where there are multiple attempts to provide a sample, you must be informed about your “last chance” before being charged. In circumstances where a motorist is deemed to have “refused” to provide a sample due to various failed attempts the Crown also has to show that the machine was in proper working order.
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  • The real issue in these cases is not whether you are “impaired” in any way but rather whether the Crown can prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired. Sometimes there may be an innocence explanation for irregular driving such as fatigue, illness or distraction. Other times evidence of bad driving might be offset by a review of the police station video which betrays no obvious indicia of impairment.
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  • There are multiple and sometimes very technical defences to this charge. Apart from operator error or machine malfunction, which can revealed through a careful analysis of breath device records, these cases are often successfully defended based on investigative lapses or constitutional violations. It is a criminal offence to operate a motor vehicle while your blood alcohol level is over the legal limit of: 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood.
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  • Although the law sanctions the arbitrary detention of motorists to conduct sobriety checks you are not obliged to incriminate yourself when questioned about drinking. This is because you are detained and haven’t been provided with your right to counsel. Although any statements you make in such circumstances can’t be used against you at trial that’s cold comfort at the roadside because an admission of consumption is admissible for the purposes of an officer’s grounds to make a demand for a roadside breath demand. That demand as well as the test must both be done promptly however to withstand constitutional scrutiny.
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  • The “free ride” for those driving while under the influence of drugs is now also over. Currently the police have the power to demand a suspect accompany them to the station for a drug evaluation test where they suspect impairment by drugs. Legislation is now also in the works to implement roadside technology to test for drug impairment that would be a similar tool to a breathalyzer, which measures blood alcohol levels. The obvious defence in these cases is whether the officer conducted such tests properly and whether he is properly qualified to render an expert opinion on sobriety
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  • You don’t actually have to be driving a motor vehicle to be charged with “DUI”. You can be arrested simply if you are behind the wheel of a parked car but the Crown will have to show that the vehicle was operable and that there was a real risk of danger that you would set the vehicle in motion.
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  • Recent Successes At the Impaired Driving Defence Centre, Christopher A. Avery takes your privacy very seriously. He also understands the curiosity of potential clients regarding our track record. For these reasons we have changed identifying details of the below cases in order to protect our clients’ privacy. We do not post the reported decisions of our clients’ cases as they are findable on a google search by name if I reproduce them here.
    Read More
  • If you are convicted of drinking and driving, your fingerprints and photographs will be retained by the RCMP in Ottawa. A conviction also means you will have a criminal record which will show up when police run a check and that can hurt your employment opportunities as well as your travel plans.
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  • When it comes to immigration, criminal records can make a huge difference on your ability to remain in the country or your ability to travel to another country in the first place. Sometimes travellers are stopped at the border due to an old conviction. They are stunned to discover that they need to apply for permission to cross due.....
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