Being charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI) can be an overwhelming experience. The repercussions of a DUI charge are serious and can include hefty fines, a suspended driver’s license, or even jail time. More than that, it can affect your personal life and career. In this guide, we will navigate the intricacies of DUI charges and what you need to know if you face this situation.
Understanding DUI Charges in Ontario
DUI, commonly referred to as “drunk driving,” generally implies driving a motor vehicle while your ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or drugs. In Ontario, this falls under the purview of the Highway Traffic Act, which outlines numerous offences and associated fines related to DUI.
As per the act, operating a motor vehicle, boat, or even an aircraft is an offence while your blood alcohol concentration is 80 milligrams or more in 100 millilitres of blood. It’s also an offence to refuse or fail to provide a breath sample when a police officer has reasonable grounds to suspect you’ve been driving under the influence.
The fines for these offences vary greatly, depending on factors like the blood alcohol concentration, whether it’s a first or repeated offence, and whether the incident resulted in an accident, injury, or fatality. A first-time offender can expect to pay a minimum fine of $1,000, but the fines increase with repeated offences or more serious incidents. If you cause bodily harm while driving under the influence, you could face up to 14 years in prison.
Refusing a Breathalyzer in Ontario: What You Should Know
In Ontario, if you’re suspected of driving under the influence, you are legally required to provide a breath sample for a breathalyzer test. Refusing to do so is considered a criminal offence, much like driving under the influence. The penalties for refusing a breathalyzer are typically similar to those for DUI, including a minimum $1,000 fine, a driving prohibition, and a criminal record.
Many people mistakenly believe that refusing a breathalyzer test could prevent a DUI charge since there would be no proof of their blood alcohol concentration. However, the refusal is an offence and might even imply guilt, making it easier for the prosecution to win their case against you.
It’s also worth noting that the “warn range” blood alcohol concentration in Ontario is between 0.05 and 0.08. If you’re in this range, you might face provincial administrative penalties, including a license suspension, even though it’s below the criminal level for a DUI charge.
Legal Support: The Role of Drinking and Driving Lawyers
If you’re charged with a DUI, hiring a lawyer specializing in drinking and driving offences should be your next step. These legal professionals are familiar with DUI laws and can guide you through the complex legal process that follows a charge.
Drunk and impaired driving lawyers can help you in several ways. They can scrutinize the evidence against you, including breathalyzer results, to ensure they’re accurate and that proper procedures were followed. They can also represent you in court, argue on your behalf, and work towards reducing penalties or even getting the charges dismissed in some cases.
A skilled DUI lawyer can also provide guidance on plea options and the implications of each choice. Their support can be instrumental in helping you navigate this challenging situation, potentially minimizing its impact on your life.
Ottawa DUI Lawyers: Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae
Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae can offer you expert legal assistance when facing a DUI charge in Ottawa. With a dedicated team of experienced DUI lawyers, we’re well-versed in the Highway Traffic Act and the intricacies of DUI cases.
Our team is committed to upholding your rights and providing the best possible defence for your case. We meticulously examine all the evidence, explore possible defence strategies, and relentlessly advocate for you. Our goal is to guide you through this process and achieve the best possible outcome for your case.
From the initial consultation to the case’s conclusion, we provide dedicated support, ensure you understand each step of the process, the potential outcomes, and the strategy we propose. With Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae by your side, you can confidently face a DUI charge.
Being charged with a DUI is a serious matter with potentially long-lasting implications. The consequences are far-reaching, from heavy fines and license suspension to a lasting criminal record. However, understanding the nature of DUI charges, the implications of refusing a breathalyzer, and the role of a dedicated DUI lawyer can arm you with the knowledge you need to navigate this challenging situation.
Remember, while this guide offers general information, every case is unique. It’s always in your best interest to seek professional legal advice tailored to your circumstances.
For those located in Ottawa, Bayne Sellar Ertel Macrae is here to help. With our team of experienced lawyers, we provide comprehensive and dedicated support to those facing DUI charges. We’re committed to helping you navigate the complexities of your case and working towards the most favourable outcome.