Impaired Driving

Impaired Driving

The offence of operation while impaired is outlined in section 320.14(1) of the Criminal Code.

A person commits the offence of operation while impaired when they drive or exercise care or control over a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or railway equipment while their ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or a drug or where they are found to have, within two hours of driving the motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or railway equipment, a blood alcohol or drug concentration that is too high.

Examples

Person A drives home from the bar while intoxicated.

Person B drives their boat home after partying with their friends and consuming a large amount of alcohol and cocaine.

Person C backs into an intersection through a red light, narrowly missing other vehicles and crossing pedestrians. Person C is immediately taken into custody and a blood test taken an hour and a half after the incident reveals person C’s blood alcohol level is more than two times above the legal limit.

Cases

R. v. Tripp, 2021 ONCJ 153

In R. v. Tripp, the accused was charged with one count of operation while impaired when she was found drinking in the driver’s seat of a car that had run out of gas and was pulled over to the side of the road.

R. v. Panech, 2022 ONCJ 25

In R. v. Panech, the accused was charged with one count of operation while impaired when he drove his friend’s vehicle into a mud-filled ditch and then attempted to drive it out of this ditch while intoxicated.

Offence Specific Defence(s)

Not a Conveyance

Where the person is driving or exercising care or control over something that is not a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or railway equipment, they may not have completed the offence of operation while impaired.

No Impairment

Where the person has not consumed enough alcohol to impair their driving ability, they may not have completed the offence of operation while impaired.

Consumed After

Where the person consumed alcohol or drugs after ceasing to operate their motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft, or railway equipment and without any expectation that they would need to provide a bodily substance sample, they may not have completed the offence of operation while impaired.

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