DUI & Driving Offences

Impaired Driving / Over 80 [C.C. s 253]

It is an offence to operate a motor vehicle (or have care or control of a motor vehicle, whether or not it is in motion) while

(a) the person's ability to operate the vehicle is impaired by drugs or alcohol; or

(b) the person consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person's blood exceeds eighty milligram of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood (i.e. BAC > 0.08%).

It is important to note that, on account of the Kienapple principle, you cannot be convicted of both Impaired Driving and Over 80 with respect to the same incident (though you may initially be charged with both offences).

Impaired Driving and Over 80, commonly classed as "drunk driving" or "Driving Under the Influence (DUI)" offences, can be very technical in nature. As such, it is important you consult an experienced DUI lawyer before deciding to plead guilty. There are often many defences that can be raised to challenge the accuracy of the breathalyser and the manner in which the police obtained the breath sample. Toronto DUI & Impaired Driving lawyer Daniel Freudman is able to effectively argue these defences, and where appropriate, raise Charter violation issues which could lead to exclusion of the evidence (i.e. the breath sample would be inadmissible as evidence at trial, which may result in an acquittal or withdrawal of charges).

Refusal to Blow [C.C. s 254]:

It is an offence to, without reasonable excuse, fail or refuse to comply with a demand for a breath sample.

This offence can occur both at the roadside as well as at the police station, depending on where the person refuses to provide a breach sample.

It is important to note that, in order to be convicted of Refusal to Blow, the breath sample demand made by the police must be lawful. If the police officer lacks the requisite grounds to make the demand, or if the demand is otherwise not authorized by law, you cannot be convicted for failing to comply. Toronto DUI & Impaired Driving lawyer Daniel Freudman has experience attacking the lawfulness of breath sample demands, and will fight to get you acquitted of your alcohol-related driving charges.

Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle [C.C. s 249]

It is an offence to operate a motor vehicle in a manner that is dangerous to the public, having regard to all the circumstances, including the nature, condition and use of the road, as well as the amount of traffic in the vicinity.

Potential penalty upon conviction:

(i) if Crown proceeds by indictment: maximum of 5 years jail

(ii) if Crown proceeds summarily: maximum of 6 months jail

Note: The penalty for Dangerous Operation of a Motor Vehicle can be as high as 10 years jail if bodily harm is caused to the complainant, and as high as 14 years jail if death ensues.

Penalties upon conviction of Impaired Driving / Over 80 / Refusal to Blow

1st offence 2nd offence Subsequent offence(s)
90-day roadside suspension, Mandatory participation in alcohol education & treatment program, $150 administrative penalty, 7-day vehicle impoundment
Ignition Interlock Condition 1 year (minimum) 3 years (minimum) Lifetime
License suspension 1 year 3 years Lifetime
Fine $1,000 Judge’s discretion Judge’s discretion
Minimum jail sentence No minimum 30 days 120 days

Note: There have been some revisions to the penalties for Impaired Driving / Over 80. To review these amendments, visit the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website

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