Drunk Driving and Prevention

Losing your licence due to an impaired driving conviction can be devastating and significantly impact your life drastically or others involved.

Alcohol related driving can lead to criminal charges and immediate licence suspension, among other penalties under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. Criminal charges and conviction consequences are briefly outlined & how a dui lawyer in Brampton & Orangeville can help your case if convicted. 

Criminal Charges
Criminal penalties for drunk driving arise from the Criminal Code of Canada (the “Code”). There are three main impaired driving related offences:

  • Impaired driving;
  • Over 80; and 
  • Refusal to blow or provide a blood sample.

Impaired driving is prohibited under section 253(1)(a) of the Code, which defines impaired driving as anyone who operates a motor vehicle, whether it is in motion or not, while the person's ability to operate the vehicle is “impaired by alcohol or a drug".

It is also a criminal offence to operate a motor vehicle with blood alcohol content over 0.08, as detailed in s. 253(1)(b) of the Code. Under some circumstances, individuals can be charged for both impaired driving and for having blood alcohol content over 0.08.

Further, refusing testing to prevent a reading of blood alcohol content over 0.08 is also an offence, which is found under s. 254(5) of the Code. Refusing to blow or provide a blood sample can also be paired with the impaired driving offence found in s. 253(1)(a) of the Code.

Criminal Conviction
If you are convicted of impaired driving, over 80 or refusal to blow or provide a blood sample, the consequence can be:

  • a maximum jail sentence of five years for any offence (including your first offence); 
  • a minimum jail sentence of 30 days for a second offence and 120 days for a third offence;
  • license suspension of: 1-3 years for a first offence, 2-5 years for a second offence and 3 years for a third offence;
  • a minimum $1,000 fine (including on a first offence) and maximum $5,000 fine;
  • referral to the Responsible Driver Program; and
  • referral to an Ignition Interlock Program.

The conviction can limit your employment prospects, have possible immigration-citizenship consequences, and remain on your record throughout your lifetime. Your ability to travel internationally could be affected as well and your automobile could be seized and sold by the police.

Additional consequences will apply if you get into an accident and injure or kill someone. Avoiding the risk of injuring or killing someone in an Orangeville or Brampton car accident, including yourself, is reason to take proactive measures before having a first drink.

Preventing Drunk Driving
As part of your plan to avoid drunk driving, it is important to decide in advance how you will get home before heading out for a drink. If you go out with friends, agree to designate a driver in advance who will not have any alcohol. If that’s not possible, arrange a ride, call a taxi or make plans to stay over.

If you are a party host, ask your guests when they arrive how they plan to get home and feel free to take the keys of anyone you are concerned about. Never serve more than a first alcoholic drink and offer non-alcoholic beverages. Notice how much alcohol is brought if the party goers are to bring their own booze and if anyone appears to have been drinking before arriving. Serve plenty of food and stop serving alcohol long before the party ends.

It is important for a party host to watch for signs of an intoxicated guest and to take action. Offer to let anyone unfit to drive to stay over or call a friend or family member to pick up that guest. Do not let a person who is unfit to drive due to alcohol consumption actually drive. Round up support among guests to avoid having a drunk guest leave with the intention to drive. Call for emergency help if needed.

Contact Richard Allman, Criminal Defence Lawyer in Brampton and Orangeville
Although we all plan to drive responsibility, an error in judgement can occur. You may not realize if you are over the legal limit or impaired and wish to get home. If you have received a drinking and driving charge in Orangeville or Brampton, contact our DUI lawyer at Richard Allman. Getting legal advice right away is important because of a tight 89 day time frame that could limit your options.

Mr. Allman is a DUI lawyer in Brampton and Orangeville, handling criminal law charges and Highway Traffic Act Offences of various types. Contact Mr. Allman today in Brampton at 905‑454‑0397 and Orangeville at 519‑940‑0415. He is the one to call for help for a best possible outcome of your case.
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