Vaughan DUI Lawyers
Calvin Barry is an experienced DUI Lawyer in Vaughan for Impaired Driving / Over 80
As one of the fastest growing municipalities in Canada, Vaughan is seeing an increase in impaired driving charges year over year. If you’re facing an impaired driving charge in Vaughan, you should not let one mistake lead to more mistakes that can affect your future. You must take steps to hire an experienced DUI lawyer like Calvin Barry to help you avoid the life-long consequences of an impaired driving conviction.
At Calvin Barry Law, our team of Vaughan DUI lawyers will use every detail that we can to give you a strong defence. A strong defence is your best tool to avoid the harsh consequences of a DUI charge.
Years Experience in Criminal Law
DUI / Impaired Driving Cases
Vaughan DUI Lawyers
When Experience Matters
Have Impaired Driving Charges in Vaughan?
Impaired Driving in Vaughan is a Serious Criminal Offence
Contrary to what most people think, impaired driving is a criminal offence in Vaughan. Although a lot of people tend to consider impaired driving as a light offence due to the sheer number of related arrests, impaired driving is a serious criminal offence owing to the degree of damage and losses that it can inflict on those who are involved in it. It is not a secret that impaired driving can result in the loss of life and severe damage to property. This is the main reason why charges of impaired driving in Vaughan are met with harsh penalties once convicted and charged under the Criminal Code of Canada.
You will lose more than just your driving privileges if you’re convicted of imparted driving in Vaughan. You will face more than just paying fines. If you have a first-time conviction, you will have to deal with rising insurance premiums, pay heavy fines and administrative fees, and enrol in an impaired driving education program and/or a post-license suspension ignition interlock program with your own dime. Further convictions will result in tough penalties more so if aggravating factors are present. Examples of aggravating factors for impaired driving include reckless driving, a too-high BAC reading, refusing to give a breath sample, and getting involved in an accident. On top of all these penalties, a conviction for impaired driving in Vaughan will result in challenges in getting jobs, obtaining loans, travelling, and starting a business in the future.
So You’ve Been Charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI)
Understanding Impaired Driving Charges in Vaughan
Care & Control
This impaired driving charge is considered when someone is visibly impaired while having care and control of a vehicle. Additionally, the police officer needs to have a reason to believe that the person will exercise the same level of control if they were to operate the vehicle.
This charge of impaired driving is made by the police without a breathalyzer or blood alcohol reading test when the police officer has a reason to believe and has a way to prove that the person driving the vehicle is not driving safely due to impairment related to alcohol or drugs. The police officer can charge a driver for impaired driving if the driver is exhibiting unsteadiness of gait, slurred speech, erratic driving, and lack of motor coordination. Please note that for this impaired driving charge, the charging officer and the prosecutor have to prove that the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired due to the use of alcohol or drugs.
This charge of impaired driving is made when the driver’s blood-alcohol level is more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 10 deciliters of blood using an approved screening device (such as a breathalyzer). Note that the police officer must have probable and reasonable grounds that the ability of the arrested individual to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by alcohol or drugs before screening the person’s blood alcohol level.
Refusing a Blood Sample or Refusing a Breathalyzer
This charge of impaired driving is made when a person who is suspected of impaired driving is not cooperating to provide a breath sample or a blood sample to a police officer. This is also the charge that is made against a person when the person did not provide enough blood or breath samples for an investigation.
Our Impaired Driving / DUI Defence at Calvin Barry Law:
We make use of a variety of defences and tailor them according to what will work best according to the specific details of your impaired driving charge. These defences include:
- Challenging the reasons cited by the police officer for obtaining a breath sample
- Challenging the technical aspects of the procedure for blood testing or using a breathalyzer
- Challenging the subjective judgment of the police officer about what constitutes impairment
- Challenging other details that are exclusive to the circumstances of your arrest
- Appealing for the exclusion of evidence that was obtained by the police officer with violation of your Charter protected rights
We strongly encourage consulting with our team at Calvin Barry Law to determine the best defence strategy for your impaired driving charge. Know that it is your legal right to hire an impaired driving lawyer upon arrest or detainment related to impaired driving.
DUI Law/Impaired Driving FAQS
Sections 320.11 to 320.4 of the Canadian Criminal Code covers the impaired driving laws in Vaughan. Charges for DUI vary based on the circumstances leading to the arrest. The charges include:
- Care and Control
- Driving Under the Influence
- Failure to Provide a Breath Sample
- Impaired Driving
- Over 80 Mgs BAC Reading
The prosecutor’s strategies for establishing guilt for the above charges vary but the penalties for a guilty finding are the same.
A person is arrested for DUI in Canada after the police officer has established reasonable suspicion that the person may be impaired while driving based on observations and roadside testing. The person will be brought to the police station for further testing and evaluation. Note that refusing to provide fluid samples or perform a test carries the same penalties as a DUI conviction.
The minimum penalties for those convicted of a DUI charge in Vaughan or anywhere in Canada are as follows:
- $1,000 fine for a BAC of 80 to 119, $1,500 fine for a BAC of 120-159, and $2,000 fine for a BAC of 160 or more
- 12-month driving prohibition
- $2,000 mandatory fine for anyone with first refusal to provide a breath sample
- 24-month driving prohibition
- 30 days of jail time
Third and Subsequent Offences
- 36-month driving prohibition
- 120 days of jail time
All transportation offences carry a maximum penalty of 10 years on indictment and 24 months less a day on summary conviction.
A drinking and driving charge is treated as a serious criminal offence in the Canadian Criminal Code and is met with the following consequences:
- Criminal record
- Expensive administrative fees
- Impounding of vehicle
- Increased insurance premiums
- Mandatory attendance to education and/or treatment program
- Possible ignition interlock requirements if and when driving privileges are restored
A DUI charge of Over 80 means that the accused registered a blood alcohol concentration of more than 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood as measured by a screening device. The Criminal Code of Canada lays down specific requirements for the collection of blood and breath screening samples under Section 320.14(1). According to the Canadian Criminal Code, screening devices must be handled by qualified technicians for the reading to be admissible in court as evidence. The testing must be completed within a window of 2 hours starting from the time when the accused was initially detained by the arresting officer. Furthermore, individual samples should only be taken at intervals of 15 minutes. Because of the technical aspects and strict legal requirements of testing an accused’s BAC, an accused will need the services of a highly skilled DUI lawyer to challenge the results as well as identify possible errors during the procedure.
Having a criminal defence lawyer with expertise in defending DUI charges is the first step in effectively beating a DUI charge. Each DUI charge that goes to trial carries key differences that require a skilled DUI lawyer to defend effectively. An experienced DUI lawyer has a repertoire of defences to form the best strategy to defend a DUI charge based on specific circumstances and charges. An Over 80 charge will not have the same defence as a Care and Control charge and will require a different strategy.
The defence strategies that are most often used for a DUI charge are the following:
- Challenging if the accused’s Charter-protected rights were respected
- Challenging the arresting officer’s interpretation of care and control
- Challenging the validity of the drug screening or the validity of the BAC screening device
- Raising legal reasons if the accused failed to provide a sample, refused a roadside screening, or rejected a breathalyzer test
- Questioning the lawfulness of the police procedure and the original police detainment
The professional and legal fees charged by a DUI lawyer varies based on the amount of time spent to defend the accused and the complexity of the case. Although the actual court time spent for hearings of DUI charges are usually short, the DUI lawyer will spend a lot of time sorting through details to create an effective defence strategy. More so, defending some cases can take a lot of time due to assorted motions which will require additional time for case preparation, research, interviewing witnesses, and more.
A skilled DUI lawyer may be able to resolve the charges in favour of the accused by negotiating a settlement with the prosecution and/or without having to go through a trial. If the DUI lawyer can recognize a significant flaw in the Crown’s case before the trial, that information can be used by the DUI lawyer to convince the Crown to drop charges.
Generally speaking, the Crown prosecutor will reject dismissals except in instances where the recognized flaw is so obvious and cannot be ignored. In most cases, the Crown will opt to drop the DUI charges for the acceptance of a guilty plea for a lesser offence such as careless driving. An experienced DUI lawyer will know how to work with the case details to achieve the most favourable outcome for the accused while making the other party think that they are not at a disadvantage.
As mentioned in response to other DUI FAQs, Crown prosecutors will usually not dismiss charges unless with a compelling reason to do so. The possible reasons for a DUI charge to be dismissed with the help of a DUI lawyer are if the accused’s charter rights were not protected, the screening methods used were impaired, the arrest was questionable, there were mistakes during the stop and detention, and other similar circumstances wherein the right processes were not followed.
The Crown prosecutor is likely to drop the DUI charge if their case is so flawed that it is impossible for them to win during the trial. If the DUI lawyer knows for certain that the case is flawed but was not able to convince the Crown prosecutor to drop the case, then the DUI lawyer can use the flaw as a key defence strategy during the trial and possibly achieve a not guilty sentence.
A DUI conviction means having to pay higher auto insurance in most cases. More so, insurance companies may choose not to renew insurance or reject an insurance application for someone guilty of a DUI. If you can find an insurance firm willing to take you as a client, be prepared to be charged minimum of twice the standard rate.
Since impaired driving offences are classified under serious criminality in Canada, Canadian immigration law Bill C-46, Part 1 says that it is grounds for revocation of permanent resident status and could lead to deportation.
Canadian law does allow for the expungement or suspension of a DUI criminal record. This action seals the record from public view while law enforcement can still access the data. Application for a record suspension is possible 5 years after a guilty plea or a conviction and may need the services of a DUI lawyer.
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Contact Calvin Barry Today.
Calvin Barry is an experienced criminal defence lawyer and an impaired driving lawyer in Mississauga with more than 30 years of expertise navigating the law.
Calvin Barry Law serves clients in Mississauga, the Greater Toronto Area, and nearby areas in Ontario.