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DUI Defence

A DUI is an abbreviation for the term Driving Under the Influence. DUI occurs when your Blood Alcohol Level is over the legal limit or you are deemed as an Impaired Driver.

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DUI Defence

A DUI is an abbreviation for the term Driving Under the Influence. DUI occurs when your Blood Alcohol Level is over the legal limit or you are deemed as an Impaired Driver.

A DUI is a criminal offence that can haunt you for the rest of your life if not dealt with appropriately. This Criminal charge can range from alcohol to drug use of all sorts. Never plead guilty to a DUI charge without consulting a Criminal Lawyer first.

Driving Under the Influence

There are Three Common DUI Charges in Canada:

Calvin Barry offers free DUI consultations at the click of a button; even if you’re not sure if your case will qualify for Calvin’s services, be sure to call. Calvin and his team will have a free screening with you regarding your case.

Penalties

DUI Charges Can Affect You for Life

Drinking and driving or DUI charges in Canada are Criminal Code offences that come with mandatory sentences even for individuals with no Highway Traffic Act record or Criminal record.

1st Offence

$1,000 fine
Enrollment in alcohol education course
One-year suspension of driver’s licence
One-year enrollment in the ignition interlock program after the reinstatement of the licence

2nd Offence

Fine at the judge’s discretion
30 days of jail time
Three-year enrollment in the ignition interlock program after the reinstatement of the licence

3rd Offence

Fine at the judge’s discretion
120 days of jail time
Lifetime enrolment in the ignition interlock program after the reinstatement of the licence if it was ever reinstated

We recommend consulting with us at Calvin Barry Law to determine the best steps for your defence. Know that you are entitled to legal consultation upon detention or arrest and it is best to consult with an impaired driving lawyer before further actions from law enforcement. We aim to defend your case to get the lowest possible penalty if the dismissal of charges is not viable.

Explained

DUI Charges

Care & Control

This is a charge of impaired driving to someone who is not actually driving the motor vehicle. This is charged to someone who had care and control of the vehicle while impaired, with the police officer having reason to believe that the person has the same control while actually operating the motor vehicle.

Impaired Driving

This charge is made without a blood alcohol test reading or a breathalyzer test when the police officer believes and can prove that the person driving the vehicle cannot do so safely due to impairment by drugs or alcohol. An officer can lay this charge if the driver, exhibits erratic driving, unsteady gait, lack of motor coordination, and slurred speech. Note that in this charge, the prosecutor and the charging officer have to prove that the driver’s ability to operate a vehicle is impaired due to drug use or alcohol ingestion.

Over 80 mg

This charge is made when the driver has a BAC (blood alcohol content) level of more than 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood via an approved screening device such as a breathalyzer. The officer must have probable and reasonable grounds that the person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by drugs or alcohol before submitting a person for a BAC screening.

Refuse Breath or Blood Sample

This charge is made when a person suspected of impaired driving refuses to provide a blood sample or a breath sample to a police officer. This charge also applies when the sample provided is deemed insufficient for the investigation.

Calvin Barry's Law

DUI Defence

We use a variety of defences and tailor them according to what will work best according to the specific details of your impaired driving charge. These defences include:

Challenging the reasons cited by the police officer for obtaining a breath sample

Challenging the technical aspects of the procedure for blood testing or using a breathalyzer

Challenging the subjective judgment of the police officer about what constitutes impairment

Challenging other details that are exclusive to the circumstances of your arrest

Appealing for the exclusion of evidence that the police officer obtained with violation of your Charter protected rights

We strongly encourage consulting with our team at Calvin Barry Law to determine the best defence strategy for your impaired driving charge. Know that it is your legal right to hire an impaired driving lawyer upon arrest or detainment related to impaired driving.

Need help?

DUI Law FAQS

Sections 320.11 to 320.4 of the Canadian Criminal Code cover the impaired driving laws in Toronto. Charges for DUI vary based on the circumstances leading to the arrest. The charges include:

  • Care and Control
  • Driving Under the Influence
  • Failure to Provide a Breath Sample
  • Impaired Driving
  • Over 80 Mgs BAC Reading

The prosecutor’s strategies for establishing guilt for the above charges vary, but the penalties for a guilty finding are the same.

A person is arrested for DUI in Canada after the police officer has established reasonable suspicion that the person may be impaired while driving based on observations and roadside testing. The person will be brought to the police station for further testing and evaluation. Note that refusing to provide fluid samples or perform a test carries the same penalties as a DUI conviction.

The minimum penalties for those convicted of a DUI charge in Toronto or anywhere in Canada are as follows:

 

First Offence

  • $1,000 fine for a BAC of 80 to 119, $1,500 fine for a BAC of 120-159, and $2,000 fine for a BAC of 160 or more
  • 12-month driving prohibition
  • $2,000 mandatory fine for anyone with first refusal to provide a breath sample

 

Second offence

  • 24-month driving prohibition
  • 30 days of jail time

 

Third and Subsequent Offences

  • 36-month driving prohibition
  • 120 days of jail time

 

All transportation offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years on indictment and 24 months less a day on summary conviction.

A drinking and driving charge is treated as a serious criminal offence in the Canadian Criminal Code and is met with the following consequences:

  • Criminal record
  • Expensive administrative fees
  • Impounding of vehicle
  • Increased insurance premiums
  • Mandatory attendance in education and/or treatment program
  • Possible ignition interlock requirements if and when driving privileges are restored

A DUI charge of Over 80 means that the accused registered a blood alcohol concentration of more than 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood as measured by a screening device. The Criminal Code of Canada lays down specific requirements for the collection of blood and breath screening samples under Section 320.14(1).

 According to the Canadian Criminal Code, qualified technicians must handle screening devices for the reading to be admissible in court as evidence. The testing must be completed within a window of 2 hours starting from when the accused was initially detained by the arresting officer. 

Individual samples should only be taken at intervals of 15 minutes. Because of the technical aspects and strict legal requirements of testing an accused’s BAC, an accused will need a highly skilled DUI lawyer’s services to challenge the results and identify possible errors.

A criminal defence lawyer with expertise in defending DUI charges is the first step in effectively beating a DUI charge. Each DUI charge that goes to trial carries key differences that require a skilled DUI lawyer to defend effectively. An experienced DUI lawyer has a repertoire of defences to form the best strategy to defend a DUI charge based on specific circumstances and charges. An Over 80 charge will not have the same defence as a Care and Control charge and will require a different strategy.

The defence strategies that are most often used for a DUI charge are the following:

  • Challenging if the accused’s Charter-protected rights were respected
  • Challenging the arresting officer’s interpretation of care and control
  • Challenging the validity of the drug screening or the validity of the BAC screening device
  • Raising legal reasons if the accused failed to provide a sample, refused a roadside screening, or rejected a breathalyzer test
  • Questioning the lawfulness of the police procedure and the original police detainment

The professional and legal fees charged by a DUI lawyer vary based on the amount of time spent defending the accused and the case’s complexity. Although the court time spent for hearings of DUI charges is usually short, the DUI lawyer will spend a lot of time sorting through details to create an effective defence strategy. Defending some cases can take a lot of time due to assorted motions which will require additional time for case preparation, research, interviewing witnesses, and more.

A skilled DUI lawyer may be able to resolve the charges in favour of the accused by negotiating a settlement with the prosecution and/or without having to go through a trial. If the DUI lawyer can recognize a significant flaw in the Crown’s case before the trial, that information can be used by the DUI lawyer to convince the Crown to drop charges.

Generally speaking, the Crown prosecutor will reject dismissals except when the recognized flaw is obvious and cannot be ignored. An experienced DUI lawyer will know how to work with the case details to achieve the most favourable outcome for the accused while making the other party think they are not at a disadvantage. In most cases, the Crown will opt to drop the DUI charges for the acceptance of a guilty plea for a lesser offence such as careless driving.

As mentioned in response to other DUI FAQs, Crown prosecutors will usually not dismiss charges unless with a compelling reason to do so. The possible reasons for a DUI charge to be dismissed with the help of a DUI lawyer are if the accused’s charter rights were not protected, the screening methods used were impaired, the arrest was questionable, there were mistakes during the stop and detention, and other similar circumstances wherein the right processes were not followed.

A DUI conviction means having to pay higher auto insurance in most cases. Insurance companies may choose not to renew insurance or reject an insurance application for someone guilty of a DUI. If you can find an insurance firm willing to take you as a client, be prepared to be charged a minimum of twice the standard rate.

Since impaired driving offences are classified under serious criminality in Canada, Canadian immigration law Bill C-46, Part 1 says that it is grounds for revocation of permanent resident status and could lead to deportation.

Canadian law does allow for the expungement or suspension of a DUI criminal record. This action seals the record from public view while law enforcement can still access the data. Application for a record suspension is possible five years after a guilty plea or a conviction and may need the services of a DUI lawyer.

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