FAQs About Brampton Drinking And Driving

What does “drinking and driving” mean?

“Drinking and driving” is the common phrase that is used to refer to driving while impaired, which means driving under the influence of alcohol. Section 320.14(1)(a) and (b) define this as:

320.14(1) Everyone commits an offence who

  • operates a conveyance while the person’s ability to operate it is impaired to any degree by alcohol or a drug or by a combination of alcohol and a drug;
  • … has, within two hours after ceasing to operate a conveyance, a blood alcohol concentration that is equal to or exceeds 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood …

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, “conveyance” includes a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment. The words “blood alcohol concentration” mean the amount of alcohol that is in your blood at a given time. Each drink will increase your BAC.

Although the focus of this section is drinking and driving, it should be noted that being under the influence of a drug and driving is also an offence under this section.

What does “failure or refusal to comply with demand” mean?

This is when a client does NOT comply with a demand to provide samples of their breath. This failure or refusal can be made when asked to blow into an approved screening device (“ASD”), which is presented at the roadside AND/OR when asked to attend a police station to provide samples of breath in an approved instrument (for example, an Intoxilyzer). Section 320.15(1) defines it as:

320.15(1) Everyone commits an offence who, knowing that a demand has been made, fails or refuses to comply, without reasonable excuse, with a demand made under section 320.27 or 320.28.”

Impacts on a client

The initial impacts that you would face for a charge of a drinking and driving case include:

  • An administrative suspension of your driver’s license and privileges;
    • Mandatory term of suspension is 90 days
  • Car impoundment; and/or
    • The default term of impoundment is 7 days
  • A pricey towing fee.

In the case of a conviction, the consequences can severely impact you. In addition to losing your driving privileges, a conviction also results in:

  • Paying a large sum fine of a minimum of $1,000;
  • License suspension;
    • The term of suspension starts at 1 year for a first offence, increases to 3 for a second conviction within 10 years, and goes up to a lifetime suspension for a third/fourth conviction within 10 years
  • Risking an increase in insurance premiums or losing insurance coverage altogether; and/or
  • Paying for the installation of an early interlock device on your vehicle.

The most severe consequence of a conviction is having a criminal record. This is unavoidable. If you are convicted for a second or subsequent offence, you face the very real risk of going to jail for a minimum of 30 days.

If you are NOT a Canadian citizen, the potential impacts to you are important. Due to changes in the law that came into effect on December 18, 2018, you can be removed from Canada if you convicted. If you are anything but a Canadian citizen, please ensure to let us know during our initial consultation.

Minimum penalty in Ontario for a first offence:

  • Driving prohibition for a minimum of 1 year;
  • A monetary fine of no less than $1,000;
    • If your BAC is between 80 – 119 mg, the fine is $1,000
    • If your BAC is between 120 – 159 mg, the fine is $1,500
    • If your BAC is above 160 mg, the fine is $2,000
  • Participation in the “Back on Track” program, which must be paid for by you; and
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of 1 year, which must be paid for by you.
  • ** For a refusal charge, the mandatory minimum fine is $2,000.

Minimum penalty in Ontario for a second offence:

  • 30-days imprisonment;
  • License suspension of a minimum of 3-years;
  • Participation in the “Back on Track” program, which must be paid for by you;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of 3 years, which must be paid for by you; and
  • A mandatory medical evaluation to determine if the driving criteria for Ontario are met.

What should you do if you’ve been charged with a drinking and driving offence?

The first thing to do is research. Learn about the potential consequences you face. Consult with lawyers to better understand what options you have and how they can affect you.

The second thing is to think hard about which way you’d like go. You have the right to defend yourself against these charges, if you wish. You also have the choice to hire a criminal lawyer to help you through this process. The ultimate choice is yours.

Before making a final decision, please call our office at 416 824 3584 and speak to us for a free consultation before making your decision.

How Can Our Brampton Defence Lawyers Assist You?

Being charged with a drinking and driving charge is stressful and carries several risks to you. This is a highly specialized area of law that needs experience and knowledge to understand the risks you face and the options available to you.

With the many years of experience our office has, we can guide you through this process. We will explain the risks and possible solutions you have. We will work through your disclosure to determine what the issues are. We will fearlessly advocate on your behalf.

We Value The Trust That Our Clients Place With Us

Discuss Your Case In Confidence

Our Brampton office is conveniently located beside the Criminal/Family Courthouse at 7755 Hurontario Street West, Brampton, Ontario. It is steps from the Peel Regional Police station where clients have to attend for fingerprinting.

Our Office is located on County Court Blvd across from the Tim Hortons in County Court Law Chambers.

The address is:
602-201 County Court Blvd
Brampton, ON L6W 4L2

We will respond to your inquiry within 24 hours.