Andrew Captan is a Toronto criminal lawyer with experience defending individuals charged with drinking and driving related offences, including Impaired Driving.
The criminal offence of Impaired Driving (or Operation) occurs where a person operates a motor vehicle while his or her ability to operate the vehicle is impaired to any degree, ranging from slight to great, by either alcohol or drugs. Moreover, an individual can be charged with Impaired Care or Control as well, meaning that the operation of a motor vehicle is not necessary to fall within the framework of this offence.
Like the other drinking and driving offences, there are mandatory minimum punishments for Impaired Driving. These include a $1,000 fine and a 1 year driving prohibition. The fine entails a criminal conviction (record).
There are various defences that can be raised at an Impaired Driving trial. Some of these are technical (including Charter arguments), while others are substantive (such as raising a doubt that the accused was actually impaired).
The Criminal Code of Canada is about to experience a major overhaul regarding drinking and driving as well as drug impaired driving when the Impaired Driving Act comes into effect. The new law creates additional (and expansive) police powers in relation to investigating suspected impaired drivers (such as authorizing the police to perform “screening tests” without cause or justification). Moreover, in line with the impending legalization of personal possession of marijuana, new criminal offences were created as part of the new law, including an offence that prohibits operating a motor vehicle with prescribed THC levels in your blood system. The police will be permitted to conduct road-side oral swabs to determine whether one is operating a vehicle in excess of the prescribed THC limit.
To learn more about these defences, call (647) 878-6355 to speak to an Impaired Driving Lawyer.