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In Canada, Impaired Driving is considered a criminal offence and carries significant penalties that could have a profound effect on a person's life. You do not have to have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .08 to be considered impaired. An impaired driving charge will be laid if there is observable behaviour on the part of the driver that leads the officer to believe that the driver is impaired.
If you are charged with Impaired Driving, you will immediately receive a $180 fine, 90-day licence suspension and immediate 7-day vehicle impoundment.
Impaired Driving is an offence under the Criminal Code of Canada. It criminalizes the operation of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. In addition to the Criminal Code offence and penalties if convicted, the Ontario Highway Traffic Act decrees additional punishments, such as increases in fines, possible jail time and driver's licence suspensions. Licence suspension varies from 1 year for a first offence to potentially, permanent suspension for a third offence; these penalties may be reduced with the installation of an ignition interlock device in the offender's vehicle.
Unlike many other criminal offences, impaired driving sets out minimum punishments upon conviction. A person convicted of impaired driving will always suffer a criminal conviction (creating a criminal record in the case of a first offence), a driving prohibition and a fine or jail. Parliament has repeatedly by setting out these minimum punishments expressed how seriously the offence of impaired driving is taken by those who create the laws in our country. Those convicted of impaired driving for the first time will have a $1000 fine imposed; but this may be increased dependent on the conduct of the driver, the nature of the driving alleged, and any other circumstances the court view as aggravating. For a second conviction for impaired driving or related offences a minimum jail sentence will be imposed if sought by the prosecutor. Jail sentences increase with each subsequent conviction; 30 days for a second conviction and 120 days for 3 or more convictions.
The penalties set out above are significant as are the potential impacts on your life. An impaired driving conviction will result in a record which may impact employment opportunities and your ability to travel. You will lose your licence as well which may affect your ability to work.
It is critically important that anyone accused of impaired driving consults with an experience criminal lawyer who understands the intricacies of defending someone facing this charge or other related charges.
At the law office of Ted Yoannou, we have a team of experienced criminal defence lawyers who can assist anyone facing a charge of impaired driving. We will assist you at each stage of your defence negotiating with prosecutors, conducting pre-trials with Judges and ultimately defending your interests at trial. We would like to speak with you to get an overview of your individual situation and determine your chances of winning your case or having the charges against you dismissed entirely.
When you consult with our firm, there are a number of questions that need to be answered and which will provide a framework for your defence. Take a few moments with pen and paper in hand and try and recall as much as possible about your arrest. Here is an outline to help form these notes:
These questions are just some of the relevant details which will assist us in developing your Impaired Driving defence. The better and more complete your answers, the more information we will have to go to court to fight your case or to have it dismissed before a trial. Give the criminal law firm of Ted Yoannou a call today so that we can put our expertise to work on your case as soon as possible.