Over 80 and impaired operation charges dismissed: Peter’s Case

CHARGES:

Impaired operation of a motor vehicle contrary to section 253 (1) (a) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

Operating a motor vehicle with a blood-alcohol concentration that exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood contrary to section 253 (1) (b) of the Criminal Code of Canada.

BACKGROUND: On Innes Road, a witness saw a man drive his car into a light standard on a median.  The witness, after seeing the collision, followed the driver as he left on foot. Later, paramedics arrived and Peter agreed to be examined in an ambulance before police arrived on the scene. When officers arrived, they smelled alcohol on Peter’s breath and administered a test that resulted in a reading of “F” or fail. Peter was then arrested and brought into the police station, where he failed two more breath tests.

Read the Summary of Police Allegations

GOALS: I did not want Peter to be burdened with a criminal record, and we wanted him to be able to keep his license. When Peter hired me to represent him, I wanted to do everything possible to have his charges dismissed or dropped.

STRATEGY: I believed that the Crown was in violation of Peter’s rights under Sections 11(b), and 24(1) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms. I thought there to be several problems with the administration of the trial:

  • After multiple adjournments, the Trial commenced more than 19 months after charges were laid.
  • The delay of the proceedings was largely caused by the fact that not all efforts to serve a witness in the trial were exhausted.  Peter’s right to a trial within a reasonable time was violated.

RESULTS: According to the judge in trial, not enough had been done by police to locate a witness in this case that had relocated to British Columbia. That was one of several issues that caused Peter to have his right to a trial within in a reasonable time violated. The charges were dismissed.

Click here to Read the Judge’s Decision

Searching for an Ontario Impaired Driving Lawyer? Read This First!

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Being charged with an Ontario driving offence is serious and can cause a lot of stress. You’re probably overwhelmed by the prospect of searching for a lawyer, and more importantly, finding the best one to take on your case.

As an Ottawa lawyer with a long record of success in fighting impaired driving charges, over the years I have found some helpful strategies that smart people use to find the best impaired driving lawyers for their Ontario case.

You can read about a few of these tips in my new article: Three Questions to Ask BEFORE Hiring an Ottawa Impaired Driving Lawyer.

It’s important to remember that these three pointers are only a small component of the strategy you should be using to search for a top impaired driving defence lawyer. Your strategy should also include talking with friends and acquaintances for their recommendations. Another smart plan is to do very thorough research – both online and elsewhere – on each lawyer you are considering hiring for your case.

Have you been arrested and charged with an Ontario drinking and driving offence? The Ottawa impaired driving lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth are here to help you find the best possible legal representation for your case. Call us today at (613) 233-4529 or email us at [email protected].

Three Questions to Ask BEFORE Hiring an Ottawa Impaired Driving Lawyer

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Being charged in Ontario with Over 80, Impaired Driving, or Sample Refusal can be a stressful ordeal for anybody. You need to hire a great criminal defence lawyer if you want to get those charges dropped. The problem, for many people facing impaired driving charges, is that they don’t know how to find the best criminal lawyer for their specific case.

The search for a top criminal defence lawyer is all about doing research and, asking yourself questions about any prospective lawyer. In this article I will share some of those questions with you – make sure you’ve thought about these before hiring a lawyer to take on your impaired driving case!

  1. Does this lawyer have significant experience representing impaired driving cases at court trial?

Many impaired driving cases do make it to trial in Ontario courtroom, and you need a lawyer who is experienced and skilled in defending them in court. A skilled trial lawyer could win your case using techniques like specialized cross-examination. Avoid one who has not defended very many impaired driving cases in an actual courtroom.

  1. How significantly does impaired driving figure into this lawyer’s criminal defence practice?

It’s important to find a lawyer who lists Ontario driving offences as a major component of his or her criminal defence practice. Avoid any lawyer who “dabbles” in impaired driving, or who specializes in a different area of law – impaired driving is a unique and complex area of the law that requires a specialized knowledge.

  1. Does the lawyer have a sophisticated understanding of all the defences and strategies that could be used to fight my charges?

In Ontario, there are a number of ways you can fight impaired driving charges. For example, you can prove that the police officer’s administration of the test was not correct, or argue that the arrest was in violation of the Charter. Before you hire a criminal lawyer, make sure he or she has an up-to-date knowledge of these defences, as well as the experience and skills to apply them successfully.

Have you been arrested and charged with an Ontario drinking and driving offence? The Ottawa impaired driving lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth are here to help you find the best possible legal representation for your case. Call us today at (613) 233-4529 or email us at [email protected].

Can the Crown’s Breath Test Evidence Even Be Used Against You in Ontario Court?

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – When you are charged with Driving “Over 80” in Ontario – that is, driving over the legal alcohol limit – the main evidence against you will likely be the breath test you took after driving.

Your criminal defence lawyer’s top objective will be to show that the breath test evidence is not admissible in court. In other words, you and your lawyer will attempt to have the charges dismissed because the breath test was not taken properly and therefore there is no evidence against you.

Fortunately, Section 258 of the Criminal Code of Canada includes a number of conditions which the breath test must meet, in order for it to be considered admissible evidence in any impaired driving case:

  • The officer must have had reasonable grounds to suspect you had alcohol in your system, before demanding that you take a breath test.
  • Each breath sample must be taken “as soon as practicable” after the police officer stops your vehicle.
  • The first sample must be taken within a specified timeframe after your alleged driving offence took place. While there can be multiple tests, police officers must allow 15-minute intervals between breath tests.
  • The breath test apparatus must be an approved instrument operated by a qualified technician.
  • Each sample must be received directly.

If you have been charged with a driving offence in Ontario, including Impaired Driving, Over 80, or Sample Refusal, you need the help of a top criminal defence lawyer who may be able to prove that the evidence against you is not sufficient. For more information, contact the Ottawa impaired driving lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email at [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Ontario Set to Toughen Impaired Driving Consequences Starting December 1

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – An arrest in Ontario for Impaired Driving, Over 80, or Sample Refusal is already a serious and stressful experience. At the end of this month, these cases are going to become even more serious.

The Ontario government issued a press release announcing a scheduled change to their vehicle impoundment policy. Effective December 1, drivers arrested in connection with an alcohol-related driving offence will be subject to a seven-day vehicle impoundment – for which the vehicle’s owner must pay the towing and storage bill.

This new impoundment policy extends to those found driving with suspended licenses, but it also effects:

  • Drivers found driving with a blood alcohol concentration of over 80 milligrams.
  • Drivers who refuse to supply a breath sample to a police officer.
  • Drivers required to have an interlock ignition device, and who are found driving without one installed.

After December 1, if you are arrested for an alcohol-related driving offence, the arresting officer will have to determine whether or not the vehicle is subject to impoundment. If he or she decides that an impoundment is necessary, you will be given a “Notice of Impoundment” and your car will be towed immediately from the site of the arrest.

In my practice, I fight on behalf of many drivers who were wrongfully arrested for Impaired Driving, Over 80, or Sample Refusal in Ontario. This seven-day impoundment period immediately following the arrest is both an inconvenience and a financial hit that will cause stress to the driver before he or she has a chance to start fighting their driving offence charges.

Have you been arrested for an alcohol-related driving offence in Ontario? You should speak with a top criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible – one who can help you understand your options and fight your charges. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Arrested for Impaired Driving in Ontario? Write Down Your Story ASAP!

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – If you are arrested for Impaired Driving, Over 80, or Sample Refusal in Ontario, the police will take you off the road and to a police station.

After you’re released from the police station, your first instinct might be to tell your family or close friends the “whole story” of your ordeal. As a criminal defence lawyer who has handled many driving offence cases, I can give you some important advice: keep your recollection of the events private, and discuss it only with your lawyer.

Instead of retelling the story verbally, to a friend or family member, you would be wise to write detailed notes about the incident. It’s important to include these crucial details:

  • Which foods you ate on the day of the event (and when you ate them), as well as any alcoholic beverages you consumed.
  • Where and when you were pulled over and arrested.
  • Who was with you at the time (include their names and telephone numbers).
  • What was said between yourself and the police, at the roadside and on the way to the station.
  • Whether or not you had access to a phone at the time of the arrest.
  • The type of tests that were administered, and when (e.g. was a breathalyzer used?)

These notes give you an opportunity to organize your memories of the incident, and they also provide you and your lawyer with a valuable reference for building your defence.

Have you been arrested and charged with an Ontario driving offence? Another early step you should take is contacting an experienced criminal defence lawyer, who can help you proceed with your case. For more information, contact the Ottawa lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Avoid Ontario Impaired Driving Charges: Drink Responsibly, Get Home Safely

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – MADD Canada reports that each year, 1,000 Canadians are killed by drinking and driving that takes place between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. These months see notoriously high levels of impaired driving across North America, and that means you need to be more careful if you’re hitting the road during this upcoming holiday season.

Here are some important facts to keep in mind:

  • If you’re involved in an accident and you were drinking beforehand, that means you share the fault – and it could ruin your chance of seeking compensation from the other driver.
  • In Ontario, you can’t have more than 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood. If you’re over the legal limit, this complicates your accident even further and could lead to criminal charges.
  • Each drink you take affects your driving abilities. For some people, drinking just two alcoholic beverages can be enough to put them over the legal limit – it depends on many factors, including your height, weight, and alcohol tolerance.

Keep safety in mind while you’re enjoying your evening and while you’re on the road. Other drivers may not be smart about alcohol, so the holiday season is a good time to be driving defensively.

Have you been charged with Impaired Driving, blowing “Over 80” on a breathalyzer test, or refusing to provide a breath sample? Your next step should be speaking with an experienced criminal defence lawyer about your legal options. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Government Aiming to Introduce Random Breathalyzer Tests for Impaired Driving

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – Impaired Driving and “Over 80” charges are a serious threat and a very big concern for Ontario drivers. But up until now, you have only had to worry about receiving these charges if you have been pulled over for driving erratically, or showing signs of drunkenness behind the wheel at a roadside screening station.

Federal Justice Minister Rob Nicholson is planning to change that with new legislation at the provincial and federal levels, which will give police officers the right to conduct breathalyzer tests at random – no erratic driving or drunken behavior necessary.

Canadian news sources are reporting that Minister Nicholson has already met with provincial lawmakers in Alberta and British Columbia. He will, however, need the support of every province before he can attempt to introduce the federal laws allowing random roadside breath tests.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada made the news earlier this month by making calls for new Canadian laws that would allow random roadside testing.

As far as criminal defence lawyers are concerned, there is one worrying aspect of these potential new laws: they may be a violation of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms , which forbids unreasonable search.

I have successfully proven, in many cases, that arrests and charges for Impaired Driving were not appropriate – and I have had many of these charges dismissed. Laws which legalize tests at random would only serve to increase the number of unreasonable driving arrests in Ontario.

Have you been charged with Impaired Driving, “Over 80,” or any other criminal driving offence in Ontario? It’s important to speak with a top criminal defence lawyer who can inform you on your rights and help you win your case. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

Ontario Drinking and Driving Offences: Three Possible Charges

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER – “Impaired Driving” is a term used frequently on this blog, but it’s actually just one of several charges that can be laid against you when you’re suspected of driving under the influence. The other two are driving “over 80,” and refusing to provide a breath sample.

These charges are distinct from one another – although police can and do lay more than one if the circumstances call for it.

  1. Impaired Driving

Criminal Code of Canada Section 253(A)

Police lay Impaired Driving charges against individuals who show evidence of inebriation (e.g. slurring of speech, bad driving, or lack of balance) while in control of a vehicle. This charge can be laid whether or not there was a breath test prior to the arrest.

  1. “Over 80”

Criminal Code of Canada Section 253(B)

You’ll only be faced with an “Over 80” charge if you took a breathalyzer test and blew over the legal limit, which is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood – hence the title, “Over 80.”

  1. Refusing to Provide a Breath Sample

Criminal Code of Canada Section 254(5)

A Refusal of Sample charge is laid when a police officer demands that you take a breathalyzer test – either on the roadside or at the police station – and you refuse to do so.

As we enter this year’s holiday season, Ontario’s drivers will once again be subject to RIDE tests and other roadside screenings. Make sure you understand your charges if you’re arrested for a DUI.

If you’ve already been charged with a driving offence in Ontario, it’s important to get advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone at (613) 233-4529.

New Interlock Laws for Drinking and Driving Charges

OTTAWA CRIMINAL DEFENCE LAWYER –

Until recently, an Ontario drunk-driving conviction meant one year of no driving, followed by another year of driving with an interlock ignition device – a machine that prevents impaired vehicle operation.

Effective August 1, the Criminal Code of Canada has been reworked to give first-time impaired driving offenders an alternative to a 12-month driving suspension.

There are now two types of rehabilitative programs offered to first-time offenders:

Stream A

  • Available to those who plead guilty to impaired driving within 90 days of being charged with the offence.
  • Minimum of three months’ driving suspension, followed by nine months of leasing and using the interlock ignition device
  • Offender must also complete an assessment program through the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health.

Stream B

  • Available to those who are found guilty at trial, or who plead guilty more than 90 days after the date of the offence.
  • Minimum of six months of driving suspension, followed by 12 months of leasing and using an ignition interlock device.

More detailed information on these two programs can be found at the MTO’s helpful web page entitled Ontario’s Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program.

These programs are not a privilege available to anyone. In order to qualify, you must have been convicted after August 3, 2010. If your offence involved drug use, or caused bodily harm, you are not eligible for either program.

Ignition interlock devices are an effective rehabilitation tool, but they’re expensive for the drivers who have to use them. Installing the unit costs $200, and it costs about $150 per month to keep using it.

If you’re charged with an impaired driving offence, you may be able to win your case and avoid driving suspensions as well as the costs associated with an interlock device. It’s best to seek advice from an experienced criminal defence lawyer. For more information, contact the Ottawa criminal defence lawyers at Auger Hollingsworth by email [email protected] or by phone (613) 233-4529.