RGZLegal DUI Charges in Ontario
It is fairly common knowledge that it would benefit many individuals to avoid driving under the influence. However, many people in Ontario might not be very familiar with the varying types of DUI charges that can be pressed against them.
In Ontario, you are considered to be impaired if it can be proven that your aptitude for operating a vehicle has been compromised by your consumption of drugs or alcohol. But what kinds of evidence can be used to establish impairment?
Officers who observe signs of erratic driving, weaving, or causing an accident can be called to testify in your DUI case. Additionally, an officer might record his or her observations regarding your personal behavior. Observations of bloodshot eyes, flushed face, an alcoholic odor coming from your person or your vehicle, slurred speech, or a loss of motor coordination can be called as evidence at a later time.
A singular observation from the aforementioned list does not constitute sufficient evidence to prove that an individual is impaired. In other words, observations must be cumulative, and officers must cite multiple observations in order to establish evidence of impairment.
In Ontario, it is important for drivers to be aware of the “over .80” rule. This rule refers to when the concentration of alcohol in a driver’s body exceeds 80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood.
The concentration of alcohol that is present in an individuals blood can be determined from an analysis of either breath or blood samples that are obtained by police officers. These samples are usually obtained through the use of a machine called the Breathalyzer.
Refusal to Provide a Sample
If you are pulled over and the officer suspects that you might be under the influence, he or she will most likely ask you to provide a breath sample. When an officer demands a breath sample, it is your responsibility, as the driver, to comply and provide an acceptable sample.
In some cases, establishing proof of a medical issue that prevents you from providing an adequate breath sample can be used in defense of your refusal to blow. However, if you are convicted of refusing to provide an accurate breath sample, the consequences are essentially the same as if you were convicted of an impaired driving or “over .80” offense.
Care and Control
Many drivers are unaware that they can be charged with a DUI even if they are simply sitting in the driver’s seat of an idle car while intoxicated.
Individuals can be charged with what is known as “care and control” when they are found to be behind the wheel of a car, with the keys easily accessible, while impaired or “over .80”.
If you find yourself in this situation, you need the experience of a criminal lawyer to assist you in interviewing possible witnesses and sculpting your defense to prove that you had no intention of driving.