Locals and visitors to the country should take note that Canadian impaired driving laws related to alcohol and even drugs were updated in December 2018. Law enforcement has since been given new and more powers in dealing with cases of impaired driving.
These new laws argue for engaging the services of a DUI lawyer in the event of a charge, which are now more likely to happen with the changes on roadside testing policies. Prior to the updates on impaired driving laws, only drivers who are apparently and obviously impaired can be pulled over for a breathalyzer test by the roadside. The new updates have made it that any driver can be randomly pulled over for the breathalyzer test. Any refusal can immediately result in a charge. This mandatory testing has had great effects in countries that have implemented the same policy. One of these countries is Ireland, where fatalities from car accidents has decreased by 40% within the four years of its implementation in that country.
With these new rules are new penalties. Previously, first time convictions were fined $1,000, second time offenders were charged a 30-day jail time, and 120 days in prison for third time offenders. Now, the fine for first offence is dependent on the amount of alcohol found in the blood and has a corresponding fine equivalent of a $1,000 minimum and $2,500 maximum. Those who refuse testing on the road are immediately fined $2,000. Penalties can go as severe as ten years maximum for DUI driving that has caused no harm, fourteen years maximum for DUI driving that has caused bodily harm, and life imprisonment for DUI driving that has led to death.
Before the updates in the DUI laws, drivers could use the defense that is called the “Bolus Drinking Offence.” This has been completely taken out as a possible defense since the updates. This was previously used by many drivers as a defense. It functions on the assumption that because a driver had consumed alcohol shortly before going behind the wheel, there should not have been enough time for the alcohol to have entered the bloodstream.
Canada has made many changes in its December 2018 updates to the DUI driving laws for the safety of all, but every defendant is still entitled to proper representation. The right DUI lawyer would be able to help a repenting offender handle the charge or conviction.