Impaired driving refers to driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs or a smaller amount of both. That includes marijuana, even medical marijuana. If you are facing an impaired driving charge for any substance, you should contact an impaired driving lawyer. The experienced DUI lawyers at Law Point can handle your case and make this process as simple as possible for you or your family member.
The police might charge you with impaired driving if you were operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level (BAC) of 50 mg to 80 mg. This is called the “warn range.” Being charged with impaired driving in the warn range is still a serious matter and has several penalties, including:
- Suspended license for 3 days
- $250 penalty
Those who are charged with impaired driving in the warn range for the second time in five years receive higher penalties:
- Suspended licence for 7 days
- $350 penalty
- Attend a mandatory DUI education program
After a third or further conviction in five years, the penalties are larger:
- Suspended licence for 30 days
- $450 penalty
- Attend a mandatory DUI treatment program
- Drive a vehicle with an ignition interlock device for a minimum of six months
After a fourth conviction (in a ten-year period), you will face the above penalties, plus you’ll have to undergo a medical exam to determine if you can continue driving in Ontario.
If you had a blood alcohol level above the warn range, you were likely charged with the “over 80 mg” impaired driving charge instead, and the penalties for this charge are more severe.
Those who have G1 and G2 licences, or who are under the age of 21, may also be charged with impaired driving if they had any BAC level at all. Novice drivers, or those who have not yet attained full G licence, are not allowed to have any alcohol before or while driving. If you’re a novice driver charged with a DUI, you may face additional penalties.
You may even be charged with impaired driving if you were under the influence of marijuana, certain prescription medications, or illegal drugs while operating a motor vehicle.
Police officers now have oral fluid screening devices that they may have used to determine if you were under the influence of cannabis while driving. They may also have performed a drug recognition evaluation on you. Even if you take marijuana for medical purposes, a police officer may still attempt to prove that your driving ability was impaired.
The penalties for drugged driving are the same as those for drunk driving, including for the second, third, and further offences.
What to do when facing an impaired driving charge?
No matter which substance you may have been under the influence of when charged, you need a criminal lawyer to uphold your rights and explore your options to lower or dismiss your charges. Exercise your right to be silent and then call us.