DUI Charges: What is Impaired Driving?

Driving over 80, drunk driving, impaired driving, driving under the influence (DUI), driving while intoxicated (DWI) and refusing the breathalyser are generic names given to specific offences under the Criminal Code of Canada.

The Criminal Code of Canada makes it an offence for a person to have care or control of a motor vehicle, whether the motor vehicle is in motion or not where:

The persons ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by alcohol or drugs;

  1. The person has consumed alcohol to such a quantity of concentration in the person’s blood exceeds 80 micrograms of alcohol in 100 millilitres of breath;
  2. The person refuses to take a breath test.

The penalty for a conviction for any of these offences can be severe.

If you are convicted for a Criminal Code alcohol/driving offence, depending on the charge and the facts the Court may sentence you to pay a fine, complete a probation order or even serve a prison sentence.

The Court is also generally required under the Criminal Code to impose a mandatory revocation of your driving privileges. The length of this revocation depends on if you have any previous convictions for similar offences.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles also generally imposes different and sometimes more harsh sanctions than the Court regarding your driving privileges if you are convicted of a criminal alcohol driving offence, however the Court has no input regarding these penalties.

But these are only the obvious effects of a conviction for driving while impaired. The effects of a conviction can go well beyond the sentence imposed by the Court. For example, you may be faced with the emotional and psychological effects of having to tell your family and employers that you have been convicted of drunk driving.

Losing your license may mean a loss of your employment and as a result financial hardship.

When you eventually get your driving privileges back, your insurance premiums will likely significantly increase as well. These additional premium expenses could potentially go on for years.

In other words, the effects of a conviction for a criminal alcohol driving offence are many and go beyond the Court Room.

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