Driving while under the influence
Driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in impaired driving charges. This charge is one of the most common criminal charges, and can affect people from all walks of life. We have represented everyone from doctors and lawyers to professional drivers and bartenders. While impaired driving is a criminal charge, being charged does not make you a criminal. Mistakes happen. Understanding this and limiting the repercussions to you is an important aspect to us acting as your advocate.
The effect of a charge and potential conviction go beyond what happens in court. A criminal record that can limit employment or travel, increased insurance premiums and provincial legislation that can result in lengthy licence suspensions and increased expense are some of the consequences of a conviction. Even being charged can be embarrassing and place a strain on personal relationships. We get this, and strive to take the pressure off you as much as possible.
Over 80 / Over .08 Charge
If you provided breath samples and they were over the legal limit, then you will be charged with this offence. Breath samples sometimes corroborate signs of impairment, depending on high the readings are. Readings over double the legal limit are considered an aggravating factor that can increase the punishment on conviction.
These charges are complicated, and difficult for the prosecution to properly prove. Mistakes occur, either during the actual investigation or the prosecution, that can result in a not guilty verdict. There are dozens of different ways to approach a defence to this charge. Understanding the various approaches, what to look for, and how to properly handle a potential trial requires a criminal lawyer with experience this charge.
Refusal to Provide a Breath Sample
A refusal charge is a separate offence from impaired driving, and you can be convicted of both impaired driving and refusing to provide a breath sample. If you beat the impaired charge you can still be convicted of refusing to provide a breath sample; the prosecution won’t simply “drop” the refusal charge if you are found not guilty of the impaired. Understanding how to approach (and beat!) both charges is critical to a successful defence.
Failure to Provide a Breath Sample
Similar to a refusal charge, failing to provide a breath sample is a separate offence from impaired driving, and you can be convicted of both impaired driving and failing to provide a breath sample. If you beat the impaired charge you can still be convicted of failing to provide a breath sample; the prosecution won’t simply “drop” the failure to provide charge if you are found not guilty of the impaired. Understanding how to approach (and beat!) both charges is critical to a successful defence.
Care or Control
This is one of the most difficult offences for the average person to understand. Care or control charges usually do not involve any actual allegation of impaired driving. Simply being found in, or sometimes even around, a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs can result in charges. If the police find you in the driver’s seat of a motor vehicle, regardless of the reason, they will charge you if you are either impaired or over the legal limit.