Impaired Driving Offences

This article discusses impaired driving offences. The information is not intended as an alternative to seeking independent legal advice about your issues. Please click here to CONTACT US.

There are numerous offences which someone may be charged with if arrested for drinking and driving (eg. impaired driving, over ’80, refusal to provide a sample). If you are charged with impaired driving, the prosecutor must prove that your ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol or drug. Your manner of driving and physical symptoms will be considered by the court.

Apart from driving while impaired, a person may be charged with having ‘care or control’ of a motor vehicle while impaired, which does not involve driving but whether the person has the ability to operate the motor vehicle. Whether a person will be construed as having care or control will depend on the location of the keys, whether the vehicle is stopped or running, and their intentions about moving the vehicle.

If you have been detained by police for impaired driving you have the right to contact a lawyer for immediate legal advice. The police officer is required to advise you of right to a lawyer. The police officer will then provide a list of lawyers or a phone book to assist you in communicating with legal counsel. If you cannot afford legal counsel, the police officer is required to provide you with a list of lawyers who are available around the clock free of charge.

The police officer will usually release you on an undertaking or promise to appear (see the article on the provincial court process generally). Specifically, in terms of impaired driving, you will usually be given an assortment of paperwork. The documentation typically includes:-

(i) Notice of Driving Prohibition,
(ii) promise to appear ( in court & fingerprinting ),
(iii) certificate of analysis,

If you have been served a Notice of Driving Prohibition, call us immediately. You have only seven (7) days from the time of the event to apply for a review. This procedure is not criminal law per se but rather is regarded as an administrative review. Your drivers licence will be suspended automatically regardless of whether you apply for the review. If you have any questions regarding the automatic driving prohibition, in relation to your impaired driving charge, then contact us promptly.


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© Edwards & Company