Impaired driving is defined as operating or having control or care of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol, drugs or a combination of both. Impaired drivers can be charged with impaired driving, driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, or both. Although the allowable blood alcohol concentration differs from province to province, in Ontario the warn range is between 0.05 and 0.08.Impaired driving has been considered a Federal Criminal Offense since 1921 and it is the most common criminal offense in Canada. In an effort to discourage the prominence of impaired driving in Canada and curb the dangers associated with driving under the influence, the Canadian Government imposed more rigid restrictions and serious penalties for this crime in 2008.
If a police officer has reasonable grounds to pursue a breath, blood or urine test and you refuse the test without a reasonable excuse, this can be considered a criminal offense.
In accordance with the “zero tolerance” or “zero BAC” rule introduced by the Government of Canada in 2008, individuals under the age of 21 and novice drivers of any age (holding a G1, G2, M1 or M2) cannot have any presence of alcohol or drugs in their blood while driving. This includes having alcohol or drugs that have remained in the blood well after they were consumed (i.e. depending on the amount consumed, alcohol or drugs can remain in the body after a night of sleeping and while you drive in the morning).
As recreational marijuana becomes legalized in Canada, it is also illegal for drivers under the age of 21 and novice drivers to have any traces of cannabis in their system while operating a vehicle. Police and other authorities have been given the right to detect drugs through an oral fluid screening device if the grounds for such a test are deemed reasonable.
A criminal record caused by a DUI can have damaging consequences that extend outside of your ability to drive. A DUI can affect potential or current employment by way of background checks, your ability to travel outside of Canada as well as your ability to secure insurance.
DUI charges for drivers of any age and holding any license are hinged on the discretion of the police officer who determined your level of intoxication and the reasonable grounds through which they pursued a field sobriety test. With the right professional guidance through your Charter rights, a DUI charge does not have to lead to a conviction and a conviction does not have to lead to the harshest sentence. If you have been charged with impaired driving of any kind, a call to Vishal Sharma can help you figure out your rights and the potential outcomes of your case.
Sharma Law services Newmarket and surrounding areas. These areas include: Aurora, Barrie, Brampton, King City, Markham, North York, Richmond Hill, Sudbury, and Vaughan.