The Roadside Investigation and Arrest
If you have been charged with a DUI, chances are that the story began with you being pulled over on the side of the road. If you are given a roadside breath demand and blow 0.08 or above on an approved screening device, you will be arrested for Over 80 and/or impaired driving. These are the two most common “DUI” offences that drivers are charged with in Toronto.
After being arrested, you will typically be brought to the police division where you will be asked to provide suitable samples of your breath into an approved instrument. It is the results of this test that will be the critical evidence for the prosecution at your trial.
Assuming that your tests provide readings over the legal limit, you will be charged and typically released from the station with instructions on when to appear in court.
Legal Consequences for DUI Charges
All DUI charges carry severe penalties. If you are convicted of, or plead guilty to, impaired driving, driving “over 80,” care and control of a motor vehicle while impaired, or failing to give a sample, you face a minimum $1,000 fine and a one-year driving suspension. If you are convicted of any of the aforementioned offences for the second time, you will face a minimum of 30 days in prison and a three-year driving prohibition. A minimum of 120 days in prison and a ten-year driving suspension will be imposed for any consecutive offence (your third, fourth, etc.).
While these penalties are severe, they have far-reaching financial ramifications that go far beyond the $1,000 minimum penalty for a first offence. These expenses include payments for the impaired driving instruction program, the ignition interlock program, and licence reinstatement, as well as insurance premiums that spike once you get back behind the wheel.
Your Next Steps
Courts in Toronto and throughout Ontario take DUI charges very seriously. Crown Prosecutors take a tough approach to drinking and driving and regularly prosecute cases, even those involving first-time offenders where there was no accident. This is why it is essential to hire an experienced lawyer at the first available opportunity.
DUI charges are highly technical in nature, and require the attention of a lawyer who is highly skilled in defending these types of cases.
Defending DUI Charges
There are a variety of defences that may be available in cases involving drinking and driving. Every case is unique, and therefore the potential defences depend heavily on the facts of your case. Common defences include assertions that the Crown cannot prove the driver’s identity, that the breath testing was faulty, that the police issued an improper breath demand, that the police lacked reasonable grounds to arrest the motorist, and other Charter-related issues.
Inconsistencies in witness testimony, the unreliability of evidence, and the reality that many of the witness’ observations might be consistent with the behaviour of a driver who is not intoxicated are all addressed in a compelling defence.
Many DUI trials include Charter litigation, which involves arguing whether the accused’s Charter rights were violated and whether this should result in evidence being excluded. Many impaired trials necessitate a comprehensive cross-examination of the investigating police officer. Knowledge of the complex legal regime that governs breath demands and breath samples is required to successfully defend DUI cases. Getting legal advice can help you better grasp the process and potential defences, allowing you to make informed decisions about how to proceed with your case. Therefore, if you are facing DUI charges, do not hesitate to contact Karapancev law. We will review your case and discuss applicable defences to secure you the most favourable outcome, as we have done with many of our past clients.