Drunk Driving (DUI) or Over 80

There are several offences set out in the Criminal Code that deal with the operation of care and control of motorized vehicles either on a road, street or highway; on the water (boating), a train or a plane.

Definitions of DUI

  • A motorized vehicle for the Criminal Code can be a motor vehicle, a dirt bike, an ATV, a boat, a seadoo, an e-bike, a snowmobile, a train or a plane. Any object that can be mechanically propelled to move is a motorized vehicle.
  • Operate means driving a motorized vehicle.
  • Care and Control means a person who is found behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle; or who has the keys in their possession; or who has the present ability to put the motorized vehicle into motion, even if the person is not inside or on the motorized vehicle at the time of police attendance.

Impaired Driving – Operation or DUI

Impaired driving is the operation of a motor vehicle while your ability to operate that vehicle is impaired by alcohol or a drug. Impaired Driving can also occur when you are behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle, even when it is not in motion, and your ability to operate that motorized vehicle is impaired by alcohol.

Impaired Driving can also be established if you are found with the keys to the motorized vehicle in your possession, or you have the present ability to put a motorized vehicle into motion when your ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or a drug.

Over 80 (alcohol) or DUI

A person who operates a motorized vehicle or who within two hours, has had the care and control of a motorized vehicle and who is found to have more than 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood, can be found guilty of this offence.

Impaired Driving by Drug

Everyone who operates a motorized vehicle while their ability to operate or have care and control of that vehicle is impaired by a drug (even if the drug was legal to consume), can be convicted of this offence. Impairment by a drug is determined by the examination of the driver by a DRE (Drug Recognition Officer). When a proper demand is made by an officer to a driver to submit to such tests, you are required by law to do so.

Refusal Provide a Breath/Blood Sample

If you refuse to provide that sample of your breath to police, either, by word or act (i.e. pretending to give a sample), either at the roadside or at a police facility, you can be convicted of this offence.

Refuse to Submit to a Drug Recognition Analysis Demand

The same as with a lawful police demand for your breath, you must follow a  demand from a Drug Recognition Officer to submit to specific tests in order to investigate the possible impairment of a driver is due to possible drug consumption; a failure or refusal (by word or act) to submit to such investigative tests can cause a person to be convicted of this offence.

Penalties of Drunk Driving

The penalties to be imposed for Impaired Driving (DUI) by alcohol or drug; or refuse are all the same, and can incur a jail sentence.  Remember: a conviction for any of these driving offences, if they occur on the road, the water, train or plane; all carry the same penalties and affects one’s driving privileges on the road.

What to do if charged with Impaired Driving?

You have a right to remain silent – do so!  This right is there to protect you.  The police do not have to stop questioning you, but you do not have to answer.  You also have the right to speak to a lawyer upon detention or arrest – do so!  Again, this right is there to protect you.

How can I help?

I am here to help you through the process of being charged with any driving offence.  Some of these charges can be very complex.  My job is to make the process easier for you - to review your case in relation to the charge(s) you are facing - address the court when, and as necessary – deal with the Crown Attorney for your matter – and give you the best defence at trial, or plea resolution possible.  Make sure you have a lawyer that understands the law and is prepared to act for you.

You may qualify for Legal Aid:  See Legal Aid Ontario Information.

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