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An impaired driving conviction in North York or anywhere in Ontario can significantly impact your life. Along with a one-year loss of your driving privileges and $1,000 fine, an impaired driving conviction includes hefty fines and administrative fees, big hikes to your insurance premiums, and mandatory enrollment at your expense in alcohol school and in the post-license-suspension ignition interlock program. Other factors, such as an accident, high blood alcohol test readings, or reckless driving, generally result in the imposition of other court-ordered penalties; while subsequent convictions lead to harsher penalties, including jail time. An impaired driving conviction can also affect your job, future employment opportunities, and ability to enter other countries, such as the U.S.

For these reasons, you should always consult with an expert DUI lawyer when arrested for impaired driving. A skilled DUI lawyer in North York has a full understanding of all elements related to Ontario’s criminal code section on impaired driving. Impaired driving charges are “criminal,” and, as such, the Mass Tsang LLP team of criminal defence impaired driving lawyers always mount a vigorous defence against the charges brought against you in an effort to ensure that one mistake will not affect your life or ruin your reputation.

At Mass Tsang LLP, we have a dedicated team of lawyers, paralegals and superior staff whom are highly experienced, results driven, and are committed to delivering the work in a professional and ethical manner.

Impaired Driving Charges in Ontario

You’ve heard it called many things: “driving while impaired,” “driving under the influence,” “driving while drunk,” “driving while intoxicated,” “driving while high,” “drunk driving,” “DUI,” and “DWI.” But they are all pretty much the same thing, and treated the same by Ontario’s criminal code, though with some variations depending upon the situation. if you are charged with an impaired driving-related offence in North York or anywhere in GTA, you will likely be facing one of the following charges:

  • Over 80 mg— This charge is laid when the driver has a blood alcohol content (BAC) level of over 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 milliliters of blood, as determined by a breathalyzer or other approved screening device. A police officer who demands that a person submit to a BAC screening must have reasonable and probable grounds that the accused person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle was compromised to some extent by either alcohol or drugs.
  • Impaired Driving —This charge is made in the absence of a breath or blood alcohol test reading, when a police officer believes he can prove that you were unable to operate a motor vehicle because of impairment by alcohol or drugs. An officer can lay this charge if a driver is driving erratically, has slurred speech, lacks motor skills, and/or displays unsteadiness while on their feet. With these charges the police officer and prosecutor must prove that your ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired to some extent by alcohol or drug use.
  • Refuse a Breathalyzer or Blood Sample— This charge is generally used when a person suspected of impaired driving refuses to provide a breath or blood sample to a police officer. The charge can also be made when the provided sample is not deemed sufficient for the officer’s investigation. The refusal is treated exactly the same as if you had blown over the 0.08 BAC level.
  • Care and Control— You can be charged with impaired driving even if you were not actually driving a motor vehicle. Under such a charge, a police officer will try to prove that you had care and control of a motor vehicle while impaired, with a presumption that you also had such control while actually operating the motor vehicle.
  • Underage Impaired Driving— in North York and other Ontario jurisdictions, there is zero tolerance for any impairment by teenage drivers. As such, teenage drivers face a lower threshold of evidentiary proof to bring about any of the above charges.

Impaired Driving Penalties in North York

Under Ontario’s criminal code, an impaired driving conviction in North York or GTA results in mandatory penalties even if the accused has no prior criminal record. The minimum sentence for a first-time conviction is a $1000 fine, enrollment in an alcohol education course, one-year driver’s license suspension, and one-year post-suspension enrollment in the ignition interlock program. Second conviction can result in 30 days in jail, three-year license suspension, and fines at the judge’s discretion. Third and subsequent convictions are marked by even harsher levels of similar penalties, including a potential lifetime ban on driving.

Your Impaired Driving Defence

Among defences that can be mounted to fight impaired driving charges are:

  • Exclusion of evidence as a result of the police officer violating your Charter protected rights.
  • Challenging technical aspects of the breathalyzer and/or breath or blood testing procedure.
  • Challenging the police officer’s reasons for obtaining a breath sample.
  • Challenging the police officer’s subjective judgement regarding impairment.

We highly recommend that you consult with one of our firm’s North York-based impaired driving lawyers regarding the optimum defence for your impaired driving charge. Your Charter Rights allow you to seek consultation upon your arrest and our DUI lawyers stand ready to help with any situation.

Call for expert North York impaired Lawyer services

For a free consultation with an experienced North York impaired driving lawyer, call Mass Tsang LLP at 416-907-4097 or visit Mass Tsang Impaired Driving Lawyers .
With 20 years of total experience, our team of impaired driving lawyers provides services to clients in North York, Oshawa, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Milton and all surrounding areas.

Our cases have been featured in the Toronto Star and other publications.