What is impaired driving? What is DUI?
Impaired driving is a criminal offence pursuant to the Criminal Code of Canada. The offence occurs when a driver operates a vehicle while his or her ability to do so is impaired by the use of alcohol or drugs. DUI (or driving under the influence) is simply a colloquial term for the same offence.
A distinct but related offence is “driving over .08”, which occurs when a driver operates a vehicle with a blood alcohol ratio of over 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood. Other related charges include:
- Refusing to provide a breath sample.
- Impaired driving causing death or bodily harm.
- Driving over .08 causing death or bodily harm.
Impaired driving lawyer in Mississauga can help if you are facing charges of driving over .08 or any charges related to impaired driving in Canada.
Drinking and driving is NOT against the law.
You might think that your situation is hopeless because you had a drink before driving or because you failed the breath test. Think again.
In Canada, drinking and driving alone is not against the law. Breath tests are often inaccurate or deemed unreliable and excluded from evidence.
A lot of common assumptions about impaired driving law in Canada are wrong. Don’t let these misconceptions negatively impact your entire future. Contact us and become informed about the charges that you face and the best course of action for you.
Have You Been Charged With a DUI in Mississauga For Your First Time?
Now, everyone who’s charged with a DUI typically responds in the same way. You may feel tremendously anxious, scared, and even terrified at times. Perhaps you’re panicking, and can’t figure out how to stop.
This is normal, because this charge may be what grabs the roots of your life and gives them a sharp tug. You don’t want that to happen, and frankly neither do we. Fortunately for you, and of course your sanity, we have your back.
Usually, a DUI is treated as a summary offence. This is the usual scenario you may be familiar with. The judicial procedure for a summary offence is carried out without a jury and you are penalized accordingly. The penalties will usually be a fine, license suspension, mandatory program attendance, and some jail time depending on the charges.If the seriousness of the DUI is greater, for instance, if you were driving “over 80” and there was a collision that seriously injured a passenger, your impaired driving charges will be prosecuted as an indictable offence. In this case, there will be a lengthier procedure requiring a jury to determine your verdict. It will also require an experienced DUI lawyer who knows how to create a strategic defense that looks into evidence, eye witness accounts, and any equipment that were used to conduct tests.
What charges and penalties are there for an indictable DUI?
The charges for impaired driving when convicted as an indictable offence are more severe than those for a summary conviction. Minimum sentences are the same regardless if your offence is categorized as a summary or indictable offence. Maximum penalties for indictable offences could mean ten years to life in prison.
The actual sentence you receive though, will depend on your case and what the Crown deems to be an appropriate punishment for your crime. Below is a look at the maximum indictable offence penalties for impaired driving:
Indictable impaired-driving offences that carry a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison:
- Impaired driving and Over 80 that causes bodily harm
- Having a blood alcohol level over the legal limit while causing bodily harm
- Failure to provide a sample when an offence was committed that caused bodily harm
Indictable impaired-driving offences that carry a maximum punishment of life in prison:
- Impaired driving that causes death
- Having a blood alcohol level over the legal limit while causing death
- Failure to provide a sample when an offence was committed that caused death
There will be on-going changes to the current impaired driving laws in Ontario and across Canada, however, to accommodate sentencing and screening for drug-impaired driving, which will mean stricter penalties for alcohol-impaired driving, as well. Consult our criminal lawyers in Mississauga for a free consultation if you are unsure of any impaired driving charges brought against you, and we can help advise you on your case.