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Overview of Impaired Driving Laws in Canada

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Impaired driving is the technical, legal term in Canada utilized to describe the crime of a person operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Obtaining a DUI lawyer is recommended when a person is charged with this type of crime in Canada.

Refusing to Submit to Field Sobriety Testing

If a person refuses to submit to field sobriety testing, or testing to determine blood alcohol concentration, that individual can be criminally prosecuted. Indeed, in convicted, a person who refuses in this manner faces the prospect of having the same penalties imposed if he or she was convicted of driving while impaired.

A DUI lawyer can sometimes make a case that a person had a reasonable justification for refusing to comply with the testing requests made by a law enforcement officer. Prevailing in this manner is very challenging and truly does require the skilled assistances of an experienced DUI lawyer.

Presumption of Accuracy

Although a DUI lawyer can attempt to make a defense that the blood level testing equipment was not functioning properly, the presumption is that this equipment did provide accurate results. An attorney can provide evidence to suggest that the equipment did not function correctly. The court will weigh evidence provided by legal counsel on behalf of a defendant to determine whether it is enough to overcome the presumption that the testing equipment provided accurate results.

Sentences in Impaired Driving Cases

When convicted of impaired driving, a motorist faces a country-wide prohibition on driving for a set period of time. A first-time conviction results in a 12-month driving prohibition, a second conviction results in a 24-month prohibition, and 36 months is imposed for a third-time conviction of impaired driving.

A first offence calls for a fine of up to $1,000. There is not mandatory jail time.

A second offence results in a possible fine and a minimum jail sentence of 30 days. A third conviction results in a possible fine and a minimum jail sentence of 120 days.

Interlock Device

Canadian law also calls for the use of an interlock device in certain cases. An interlock device requires a person to breath into a device and demonstrate that he or she is free of alcohol before the vehicle can be started. With an interlock device installed in a person’s automobile, he or she can shorten the driving prohibition period, at least to some degree.

In the case of a 12-month prohibition, the interlock device can be installed after three months. It can be installed after six months in the case of a 24-month prohibition and after one year in the case of a 36-month prohibition.

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