Impaired Driving / Over 80 – DUI Lawyer – Drinking and Driving Lawyer

The charge of drinking and driving which is called impaired driving in Canada and an over 80 charge, were previously codified under 253 of the Criminal Code. Under the previous section, words such as “assists in the operation” or “has care and control”, “whether in motion or not”, were used to define the offence.

However, due to the recent amendments of the Criminal Code these driving charges have been repealed under their previous sections and are now codified under 320.14 of the Criminal Code of Canada. They are now categorized as Offences relating to Conveyances.

As per section 320.12 of the Criminal Code, one of the objectives that parliament is trying to achieve with criminalizing this type of offence is to protect the general public by deterring persons from operating conveyances dangerously or while their ability to operate is impaired by alcohol or drugs. This is because the conduct poses a threat to life, health and safety of Canadians.

Conveyances is defined under the Criminal Code as a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment.

Impaired Driving – Operation while impaired – Over 80- DUI

The Impaired driving charge and/or Over 80 charge reads: Everyone commits an offence who

(a) 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; (b) subject to subsection (5), 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; (c) subject to subsection (6), has, within two hours after ceasing to operate a conveyance, a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood drug concentration for the drug that is prescribed by regulation; or (d) subject to subsection (7), has, within two hours after ceasing to operate a conveyance, a blood alcohol concentration and a blood drug concentration that is equal to or exceeds the blood alcohol concentration and the blood drug concentration for the drugs that are prescribed by regulation for instances where alcohol and drugs are combined.

There is zero tolerance approach based on the wording of the charging provision with respect to the impaired operation of a conveyance as it mentions any degree of alcohol or drugs or both. In regards an Over 80 charge, the legislation emphasizes on the concept of time. Time in this case is two hours within/after operating a conveyance.

Due to the broad language in the legislation of these offences, it is anticipated that these charges may or could lead to constitutional challenges in court.

This type of offence is not to be treated lightly since if the individual is convicted, it will lead to a Criminal Record. Further, depending on the individual’s immigration status in Canada, there may possibly be immigration consequences involved if convicted.

Depending on the facts of the case, there may also be aggravating factors which make the offence more serious on sentencing. As per section 320.22 of the Criminal Code there are many aggravating factors outlined will make the offence more serious. For example, if the offenders blood alcohol concentration at the time of committing the offence was equal to or exceeded 120 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood.

It is the duty of the crown prosecutor to prove the elements of the offence beyond a reasonable doubt. All the elements of either an Impaired Driving Charge and/or a Over 80 Charge – DUI Charge, must be met in order to be found guilty.

If you are charged with Impaired Operation and/or an Over 80 charge, you may have a legal defence available depending on the facts of the case. Your criminal defence lawyer will advise you if there are any legal defences to your alleged criminal charge which may negate the elements of the offence.

Do not plead guilty until you have either consulted with duty counsel or a DUI -Impaired Driving criminal defence lawyer regarding your criminal case. It is also important to know that you have constitutionally protected legal rights and it is equally important that they are preserved.

Contact an experienced Criminal Defence Lawyer today at (905) 230-4529 and book your consultation. As your Criminal Defence Lawyer in Mississauga, I will defend your case and fight for you to ensure that you obtain the best possible in a time effective manner. Legal Aid Certificates are also accepted. Hire me as your Legal Aid Criminal Defence Lawyer in Mississauga today!

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