What to Do When You Refuse to Provide a Breath or Blood Sample in Ontario

A refusal to provide a breath or blood sample occurs when individual declines to give the police officer access to their breath or blood to determine the concentration of alcohol or drugs in their system. This can lead to criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada. If you’ve been charged with refusing to provide a breath or blood sample, you must speak with an experienced defence lawyer as soon as possible so they can advise you on your rights and help you obtain the best possible result in your case.

Can You Refuse to Provide a Breath Sample?

Though you have no obligation, there are consequences for refusing to provide a blood or breath sample when pulled over. In most cases, if you refuse, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately, and you may face further criminal charges. You may also be charged for refusing—in which case a criminal defence lawyer in Toronto can help with that as well. If you feel confident about fighting these charges at trial, work with an attorney who can help you navigate your options and discuss possible defences.

Police Procedure After You've Refused to Test

In Ontario, police have a right to demand breath and blood samples if they suspect you of drunk driving. If you refuse their request for either, they can take you directly into custody until you agree to provide these samples—even if they haven’t yet decided whether or not they’ll lay charges against you.

The Consequences of Refusing to Provide Blood or Breath Sample

According to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act, no person shall operate any motor vehicle on a highway [when]…the proportion of alcohol in his blood is equal to or exceeds 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. In practice, drivers who refuse testing face immediate criminal charges and are subject to penalties that include mandatory minimum fines and license suspensions.

If you face refuse to provide sample charges, your best action is to contact a qualified lawyer. Calvin Barry is an experienced criminal defence lawyer who serves Toronto and the surrounding areas. With his help, you can avoid a conviction and get the best possible outcome for your case.

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