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Being convicted of drunk driving in Vaughan or anywhere in Ontario results in penalties that can significantly impact your life. Not only does a first-time impaired driving conviction result in the one-year loss of your driving privileges, but also 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. Subsequent convictions result in tougher penalties including jail time. Other factors relating to the DUI charges, such as an accident, high breath sample readings, or reckless driving can lead to additional penalties well above the minimum sentence mandates. Beyond these court-ordered impacts, an impaired driving conviction can affect your job, future employment opportunities, and ability to enter other countries, such as the U.S.A.

For all of the above reasons, you should always consult with an expert drunk driving lawyer when faced with impaired driving charges. A skilled DUI lawyer in Vaughan has a full understanding of the highly complex and technical parameters of Ontario’s impaired driving laws in the criminal code and will be able to mount a defence tailored to your unique circumstances. Impaired driving charges are “criminal,” and, as such, the Mass Tsang LLP team of criminal defence impaired driving lawyers will 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

While referred to by many names, such as driving while impaired, driving under the influence, driving while intoxicated, driving while high, drunk driving, DUI, and DWI, if you are charged with an impaired driving-related offence in Vaughan or anywhere in the greater Toronto area, you will likely be facing any of the following charges:

  • Over 80 mg— This charge is laid when the driver has an alcohol level of over 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 milliliters of blood. A breathalyzer reading or blood sample is used to obtain the evidence required to lay this charge.
  • Impaired Driving —This charge is made in the absence of a breath or blood alcohol test reading, when a police officer believes that 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 onus is on the charging officer and prosecutor to 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.
  • 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 car 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 Vaughan and other Ontario jurisdictions, there is zero tolerance for the semblance of any impairment by teenage drivers. Thus, teenage drivers face a lower threshold of evidentiary proof to bring about any of the above charges.

Mass Tsang Lawyers Impaired Driving Defence

There are a variety of defences that can be mounted to fight impaired driving charges depending upon your unique circumstances. They include:

  • 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 Vaughan-based impaired driving lawyers regarding the best defence for your impaired driving charge. You have every right to seek consultation upon your arrest and our DUI lawyers stand ready to help with any situation.

Impaired Driving Penalties in Ontario

As noted above, penalties for being convicted of impaired driving in Vaughan or anywhere in Ontario are severe. To recap, minimum penalties for a first-time conviction include:

  • $1,000 fine.
  • one-year driver’s license suspension.
  • enrollment in an alcohol education course.
  • one-year enrollment in the ignition interlock program after license reinstatement.

Minimum penalties for a second-time conviction:

  • Three-year license suspension.
  • 30 days in jail.
  • Fine at the judge’s discretion.
  • Three-year enrollment in the ignition interlock program after license reinstatement.

Minimum penalties for third and subsequent convictions:

  • 10-year to lifetime license suspension.
  • Fine at the judge’s discretion.
  • 120 days in jail.
  • Lifetime enrollment in ignition interlock program if the license is ever reinstated.

Contact Our Vaughan Impaired Driving Lawyers

To book a free consultation with an experienced Vaughan impaired driving lawyer, call Mass Tsang LLP at 416-907-4097 or visit our website HERE. With more than 20 years of experience, our team of impaired driving lawyers provides service to clients in North York, Richmond Hill, Toronto, Mississauga, Brampton, Vaughan and all of greater Toronto.