As you can imagine, drinking and driving is something to be avoided. Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offence in Canada and Quebec. Whether it’s for being over the legal limit or refusing to submit to a test, the penalties can range from a simple fine to several years in jail.
If you are charged with impaired driving, you have the right to defend yourself. To do so, you may need to hire a DUI lawyer to help you plead your case. Bégin Avocat is a Montreal law firm that specializes in drunk driving and SAAQ cases.
What are the penalties for driving while impaired?
There are different penalties associated with driving under the influence. In fact, you can be charged with driving with more than 80 mg of alcohol in your blood or refusing to comply with a police officer. Depending on the type of charge, different penalties may apply.
Fine and imprisonment
Regarding a drunk driving arrest, the Criminal Code provides for different penalties depending on the offence committed.
Offences related to a drunk driving arrest
– Impaired driving
– Driving with a blood alcohol content of 80 mg of alcohol/100 ml of blood or more (.08)
– Driving with a THC level equal to or greater than 5 ng/mL of blood
– Driving with an alcohol level equal to or greater than 50 mg of alcohol/100 ml of blood and with a THC level equal to or greater than 2.5 ng/mL of blood
– Refusal to provide a blood, saliva or breath sample to a member of law enforcement
Penalties associated with an impaired driving arrest
– First offence: minimum fine of $1,000 and possible imprisonment
– Second offence: minimum imprisonment of 30 days
– For each subsequent offence: minimum imprisonment of 120 days
If the judge decides, they could impose a more severe sentence. But the maximum jail time for these offences is 10 years. If you injure or cause the death of someone in a car accident, then the penalties will be more severe and you could be imprisoned for 14 years to life.
In addition, a repeat DUI offence can result in jail time, an extended driving prohibition, and a lifetime alcohol ignition interlock device in your vehicle. For more information, consult a Montreal DUI lawyer.
Offence of refusing to comply with a breath test
The offence of refusing to blow into the breathalyzer is set forth in Section 320.15 of the Criminal Code. If you are suspected of impaired driving, a police officer may ask you to blow into a device that tests your breath for the presence of alcohol. This may happen at the scene of your arrest or later at the police station. If you refuse to do this without a valid reason, you will be committing an offence.
Here are the possible penalties for refusing to obey a police officer:
– Immediate licence suspension: 90 days
– Fine: minimum of $2,000
– Criminal record
– Licence revocation: 3 years
– Impaired driving risk assessment program
– Alcohol ignition interlock device for 2 years
Why hire a lawyer when charged with driving under the influence?
When a person is charged with driving while intoxicated, it is highly recommended that they get the help of a victim defence attorney. This professional is familiar with the law and all the procedures involved in arresting a person for DUI.
First of all, your lawyer will be able to verify whether the police authorities who made your arrest complied with their duties and obligations. In addition, your legal counsel will ensure that all of your rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been respected.
Your SAAQ lawyer will also be able to defend you if you have refused to comply with a blood alcohol test or an evaluation of your movement coordination.
Are you being charged for drunk driving? Contact Bégin Avocat
If you believe that you have been wrongly arrested for driving under the influence or that your rights were not respected during the arrest, then it is advisable to contact an attorney!
They will be able to guide you through the legal process and direct you to defence options that you may not have considered. Do not hesitate to contact our firm for any questions you may have regarding a drunk driving charge.