First-time convicted impaired drivers who used to face a license suspension of 12 months, may soon be back on the road in three months. However, to be eligible for the shortened suspension, they must first plead guilty.
They must also agree to install an ignition interlock or breath alcohol ignition interlock device in their vehicle for nine months. The breath-testing devices require the driver to provide a breath sample. The vehicle will not start if the driver’s blood alcohol concentration is over .02.
While Ottawa criminal defence lawyers support the reduction of the penalty for first time offenders and support the law’s focus on rehabilitation, we are concerned that providing a legislated incentive for a guilty plea will encourage innocent people to plead rather than face the risk of a trial.
The new regulation does not actually come into effect until early August, but first-time impaired drivers already in the criminal system are able to plead guilty and defer sentencing and the finding of guilt until after August 3.
After November 1 of this year, anyone facing charges of impaired driving will have to plead within 90 days of the charge in order to avail themselves of the new incentive.
According to a Crown memorandum, there will likely be large number of people who opt to employ the new provision because 80 per cent of individuals charged with drunk driving are first-time offenders
Have you been charged with impaired driving? Criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth can give you the legal advice you need and effectively represent you. Do not plead guilty to impaired driving, or over 80, without getting legal advice first. Contact a criminal defence lawyer at Auger Hollingsworth at 613-233-4529 or at [email protected] Visit us online at: www.criminaldefenceottawa.ca