Frequently Asked Questions
What to do if You are Pulled over for an Impaired Driving Offence in Windsor?
What to do if you are Charged with an Impaired Driving Offence in Windsor?
Sentences Related to Impaired Driving Offences in Windsor
Assaulting a Peace Officer
Sexual Assault Law in Canada
Consequences of a Criminal Record
Keeping Charges Private
Travel & US Waivers
Vulnerable Sector Screening
Elements of a Crime
What to do if you are Pulled over for an Impaired Driving Offence in Windsor
If you have been pulled over for suspected impaired driving it is important to be aware of your rights. In Canada police officers have significant discretion to stop motorists driving on public roadways. Officers may stop drivers to ensure they are sober and properly licensed while driving.
In the past, police officers were required to have a reasonable belief that a driver was intoxicated prior to making a demand for a breath sample. Recent changes in the law have eliminated this requirement. This means that officers may now demand a breath sample from anyone operating a motor vehicle, or whom they believe has been operating a motor vehicle within the last 2 hours, even if they do not have reasonable grounds to believe the individual is intoxicated or has been consuming drugs or alcohol.
This means that an officer’s demand will be lawful in the majority of cases. When a legal demand for a breath sample is made by an officer, a motorist must comply with the demand and provide a suitable breath sample at the roadside. If the sample registers a fail, the motorist will be placed under arrest for impaired driving and/or over 80. If the sample registers a pass but the officer believes the motorist’s ability to drive is impaired by a drug, they may initiate further roadside sobriety testing.
A motorist who refuses to provide a breath sample when a lawful demand is made will face a refusal charge. Upon conviction, a refusal charge carries similar penalties to a conviction for impaired driving or over 80, including license suspension, fines, and possible jail time.
It is important to note that motorist’s do not have the right to speak to counsel on the roadside prior to providing a breath sample to police. Once a lawful demand for a breath sample is made, the motorist must provide the sample immediately. Failure to do so may result in a refusal charge being laid.
If arrested and charged, an accused will have the opportunity to speak to counsel once they reach the local police station. It is recommended that accused individuals do not make any utterances to police prior to speaking with counsel, as anything said may be used to prosecute the accused.
What to do if you are Charged with an Impaired Driving Offence in Windsor
If you have been arrested and charged with impaired driving, over 80, or refusal in Windsor, it is important to know your rights throughout the criminal process. The most effective and efficient way to accomplish this is to consult with experienced legal counsel.
Once arrested an accused will be provided with a first appearance court date. Generally, on or before that date the accused will receive an initial disclosure package from the Crown’s office. This package will contain the evidence collected by the Crown and will give the accused a better understanding of the allegations and how best to defend them. It is important to have full disclosure prior to making any big decisions in the case. This will ensure that the accused is fully aware of the case to meet and all possible avenues of defence prior to making any decisions.
Legal counsel can assist you in reviewing your disclosure to determine possible weaknesses in the Crown’s case. Impaired driving and over 80 offences can be extremely technical and complicated to defend. Donich Law has experience critically analyzing the evidence collected by police in impaired driving and over 80 cases including analyzing breathalyzer readings.
Sentences Related to Impaired Driving Offences in Windsor
Impairing driving has become such a public safety concern in Canada that the legislature has continued to increase penalties for those convicted, particularly those convicted of repeat offences.
An offender who is convicted for the first time of an impaired driving or over 80 offence may be sentenced to a maximum of ten years in prison and will face a mandatory $1,000 fine. An individual who is convicted of either offence for a second time may face a maximum of ten years in prison and will face a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine and thirty days in prison. An individual convicted of impaired driving or over 80 on a third or subsequent occasion may face a maximum of ten years in prison and will face a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine and four months in prison.
An offender who is convicted of a refusal offence for the first time will face a mandatory minimum fine of $2,000. An individual convicted for a second time will face a mandatory minimum thirty days in prison and may face a maximum of ten years in prison. An individual convicted a third or subsequent time will face a mandatory minimum four months in prison and may face a maximum of ten years in prison.
In addition to terms of imprisonment or fines imposed by the court, the court may also suspend the license of the accused. Those convicted of an impaired driving offence will also have their license suspended under the Highway Traffic Act.
If you have been charged with impaired driving, over 80, or refusal in Windsor it is important to ensure your rights are protected. Donich Law can assist you in navigating the criminal justice system to ensure you are protected throughout.
Can I get an Impaired Driving Charge if I was on Prescription Medication?
Yes. An individual whose ability to drive has been impaired by any medication, including prescription medication, will be guilty of impaired driving. It is not a defence that the medication was prescribed.
Can I get an Impaired Driving Charge for Smoking Marijuana?
Yes. An individual who smokes marijuana prior to operating a motor vehicle may be charged with impaired driving. An individual can be charged with impaired driving if their ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by any drug.
What if my car was in Park when I was Stopped by Police?
An individual may be charged with impaired driving or over 80 even if the vehicle is not moving and the accused was not driving. An individual may be charged if they are in care and control of a vehicle while impaired by drugs or alcohol.
Can I Refuse to Take a Breathalyzer?
Once the police had made a lawful demand for a breath sample an accused must comply. Failure to comply with the demand will result in the accused being charged with Refusal. The penalties associated with a Refusal conviction are very similar to the penalties associated with an impaired driving or over 80 conviction.
What if the Police did not see me Driving?
Recent changes in impairing driving laws in Canada have made it easier for an officer to demand a breath sample. Police officers no longer require reasonable suspicion that a motorist is impaired to demand a breath sample.
Will I go to Jail for Impaired Driving in Windsor?
Individuals who are convicted of an impaired driving or over 80 offence on more than one occasion have a high likelihood of being sentenced to a period of incarceration. There are currently mandatory minimum jail sentences for those convicted of impaired driving offences more than once.
Will I Lose my License if I am Convicted of an Impaired Driving Offence in Windsor?
Yes. In almost all cases, those convicted of impaired driving, over 80 or refusal will have their drivers license suspended for a period of time. In many cases, the offender’s license will be suspended by the Province through the Highway Traffic Act as well as by the sentencing court.