What is impaired driving?
What is the difference between Impaired driving and over 80?
What is Care or Control? Is it illegal to sleep in the car to sober up?
What is a Refuse Demand?
Can you still drive during the period of driving prohibition?
How do you apply for the Ignition Interlock Program?
What is the difference between Stream “A” and Stream “B”?
Driving while intoxicated can lead to serious charges, including the following Criminal Code charges:
Impaired driving typically refers to your ability to drive due to alcohol or drug consumption. A charge stems from observations of the police officer: car swaying when driving, bloodshot eyes, slurred speech, unsteadiness, and/or any other signs of impairment.
Over 80 is different from impaired driving, as it does not matter if you exhibit any signs of impairment. A charge can be made out if it is held that you had 80 milligrams of alcohol over 100 milliliters of blood. The police checks this by administering a blood test or a breathalyzer test.
If you think that the safe option is to “sleep it off” before driving home, then think twice. The mere fact that you are found in the driver’s seat creates a presumption of care or control, which means that you will most likely be arrested and have to rebut, in court, the presumption that you were not in care or control. The legal test for care or control depends on a number of things but the court is mainly concerned with some use of the vehicle by the accused or some course of conduct associated with the vehicle which involves a risk of putting the vehicle in motion so that it could become dangerous.
Where the police lawfully makes a demand that you test for impairment, you must comply. Otherwise, refusing a demand has the same penalty as being found Over 80. Exercise caution and call a lawyer before making the decision to refuse demand.
Sentencing for impaired driving, over 80, and refuse demand is the same. The Crown has the discretion to proceed summarily or by indictment. Your lawyer should strongly negotiate with the Crown to ensure that they do not proceed by indictment.
A summary election results in:
An indictment election results in:
In Ontario, you may be eligible for the Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device Program if you successfully register in the program and the judge allows you to drive under this program. Unless the court orders another fixed time period, then you must respect the timeline below.*
Please take a moment to visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation’s Ignition Interlock Program webpage: http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/ignition-interlock-conduct-review-program.shtml
Note that time restrictions also exist based on whether you qualify for Stream “A” or for Stream “B”. The main difference between Stream “A” and Stream “B” is that Stream “A” requires that you plead guilty and be sentenced less than 90 days from the date of the offence. You should consult with a lawyer before making the decision to plead guilty early for the sole purpose of meeting the requirements for Stream “A”. It can severely affect your situation, particularly because eligibility for Stream “A” is not guaranteed.