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Should I Fight My DUI Over 80 Impaired Driving Charges?

Ontario Criminal Lawyer, Chris Avery

DUI Lawyer
 
One of the questions any potential client charged with DUI is asking themselves is whether or not they should fight their charges?  They want to know if paying a lawyer is worth the expense when a police officer says "they blew over" or "there was an accident."  People want to know whether or not they should spend the money when they can plead guilty and "just" get a fine and get their license back under Stream "A" within a few months. 
 
You have the right to a trial in Canada.  There is very little downside risk to running a trial.  Some of the defences are apparent from the initial interview.  Therefore you have nothing to lose by taking advantage of a  free call for an initial discussion about your case.  Most people are quite pleasantly surprised that all hope is not lost after speaking with us about their case.
 
 
 

 Average cost of an impaired driving conviction

  • insurance rates
  • back on track
  • interlock devices
  • criminal record
  • loss of job
  • inability to volunteer
  • inability to obtain new employment
  • potential problems with the US Border
  • inability to rent a car in some circumstances
  • contrary to popular belief, you often cannot just drive on your spouse's insurance or company insurance without disclosure to the company of the conviction - if a situation involving a claim happens, you may be uninsured
  • admission of liability in situation of any kind of accident
  • inability to obtain secondary insurance beyond basic liability, preventing you from leasing or financing new vehicles
  • besmirches character - important in situations of politics and public life
  • reputation in the community
  • if any judgment occurs as a result of the admission of liability it destroys your credit rating

Toronto & GTA Call  289.481.1007  Outside GTA Call  1-877-497-3927

There are defences to DUI cases, whether or not they are impaired driving, over 80, or refuse to blow.  The government is required to prove any allegation of any criminal offence beyond a reasonable doubt.  Trials are used as a means of limiting state power.  The constitutional arguments raised contribute to the rule of law in Canada.  Despite what the police and the manufacturers of the technology like to tell the public, the breathalyzer machines are not infallible.  They have margins of error at the best of times and are outright wrong at the worst.  There are health issues that can result in a false positive.  Interference from other devices can result in errors.  Failure to maintain and calibrate the machine properly can result in errors.
 

 

Penalties for impaired driving convictions.     

Number of instances

Penalties

First time

  • Mandatory education or treatment program
  • 1 year minimum requirement to drive a car equipped with an ignition interlock device
  • No minimum jail sentence
  • $1,000 fine
  • Licence suspended for minimum 1 year*

Second time

  • Mandatory education or treatment program
  • 3 year minimum requirement to drive a car equipped with an ignition interlock device
  • 30-day minimum jail sentence
  • Fine amount at the discretion of the judge
  • Licence suspended for minimum 3 years

Third and subsequent times

  • Mandatory education or treatment program
  • Variable interlock periods (depending on sequence of prior convictions)
  • 120-day minimum jail sentence
  • Fine amount at the discretion of the judge
  • Lifetime licence suspension (can be reduced to 10 years if certain conditions are met)

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The IDDC - Defending Drinking & Driving Charges Across Ontario

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For Russian, Farsi, Dari, Uzbek & Hindi Language Lawyer please call 1-877-266-6415

 

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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  • Section 8 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides everyone in Canada with protection against unreasonable search and seizure. This right provides Canadians with their primary source of constitutionally enforced privacy rights against unreasonable intrusion from the state. Typically, this protects personal information that can be obtained through searching someone in pat-down, entering someone's property or surveillance.
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  • 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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