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Common FAQs about Impaired Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol/DUI Offences

At Passi & Patel criminal defence lawyers in Mississauga, we are regularly asked questions about “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” & “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences). In this article, we will discuss several of the more common questions we receive. Please keep in mind, this content is for informational purposes only, and should not be considered as actual legal advice.

Should I Plead Guilty Just to Get the Charges Resolved Quickly?

We often find that those who are arrested and charged with “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences) have never been arrested before. In other words, they have had no prior interaction with the criminal justice system. As a result, being arrested can make the accused person feel embarrassed, anxious, and stressed. Often, individuals find it tempting to simply plead guilty to the charges to get the matter resolved as quickly and quietly as possible.

At Passi & Patel, criminal defence lawyers in Mississauga, we strongly discourage individuals from pleading guilty simply to get the matter “dealt with”. “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” & “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences) have a number of serious consequences. For a first offence with no aggravating circumstances, your license will be suspended for 1 year and you will also be required to pay a fine of at least $1000.00 and a Victim Fine Surcharge equivalent to 30% of the fine (e.g. Fine of $1000 = Victim Fine Surcharge of $300). In cases of multiple convictions (2nd, 3rd, 4th etc.) and cases of bodily harm or death, you could face significant periods of imprisonment.

Further, after any conviction for “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences), your automobile insurance rates are almost guaranteed to increase, as the offence will be noted on your “Driver’s Abstract”.

Being convicted of “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences) may also prevent you from travelling to the United States. Due to the fact that there is no clear policy in place in regards to “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” convictions and travel, the decision to admit entry into the United States is entirely at the discretion of the respective border agent. As a result, individuals wishing to travel to the United States with a conviction for “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences) have no way of knowing in advance whether they will be permitted entry.

Finally, employers routinely conduct “criminal record” or “background” checks on prospective employees during the hiring process. A conviction for “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences) could adversely impact your ability to find and maintain meaningful employment.

If you have been charged with “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences), we strongly discourage from pleading guilty until you have had the opportunity to discuss the matter further and in greater detail with a qualified and experienced Mississauga criminal defence lawyer.

Do I Have the Right to Refuse to Provide a Sample to the Police?

There is misconception that refusing to provide a breath sample with help you avoid being charged with “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences). Refusing to provide a breath sample when requested by a police officer is never advisable. There is a specific section in the Criminal Code that deals with “Refusal/Failure to Provide a Breath Sample”. The penalty, if found guilty, is identical to being convicted of “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences).

Can I Be Charged with Impaired Driving Even If I Pass a Breathalyzer Test?

Although it is rare, one can be “Impaired by Alcohol” and not be over the legal limit. In other words, their “blood alcohol concentration” (B.A.C) is under 80 milligrams, yet they exhibit signs of impairment by alcohol. The simplest way to put it is the individual appears to be drunk.

Further, one can also pass a breathalyzer test yet exhibit signs of impairment if it can be shown that they are “Impaired by Drug”. Being “Impaired by Drug” does not necessarily mean that the drug causing the impairment is an illegal drug. Prescription drugs can also cause the requisite level of impairment which result in the charge of “Impaired by Drug”.

I Was in a Parked Car and I was Arrested. How Is This Possible?

Even if the vehicle you are in is stationary or parked, as long as the vehicle is considered under your “Care or Control”, you could be arrested and charged with “Impaired Care or Control” or “Being in Care or Control of a Motor Vehicle while Over 80 Milligrams”. The wording of the charge is simply modified in cases to apply to individuals who are “Impaired” or “Over 80” and are found in stationary vehicles. This would include circumstances where an individual is found sleeping in a vehicle, and further, occasions where an individual is in a damaged or inoperable vehicle.

Will I be held for bail?

Offenders charged with “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences) are normally released from the police station once they are sober. There are circumstances that may result in the necessity of a bail hearing. For example, a case with fatalities, or if the individual has prior convictions for “drinking and driving”. It is also common for police officers to hold individuals for bail if they are “not ordinarily residents” of the province in which they are charged in.

If you have further questions about “Driving with Excess Blood Alcohol” and/or “Impaired Driving” (DUI offences) or have been arrested and charged with one of these offences, please do not hesitate to contact Passi & Patel criminal defence law firm in Mississauga. Call us now at 647-898-8018 to schedule a free consultation.