When most people think of driving under the influence, the first thing that comes to mind is alcohol. The DUI laws in Canada certainly cover the use of spirits and attempts to drive, but they also address other forms of impairment. Here are three of the most important things you should understand about the current laws and what could happen if you have a little too much and get behind the wheel.
Alcohol Levels in Your Bloodstream
The amount of alcohol in your system at the time the officer pulls you over will make a difference. In Ontario and other areas of the country, you can be arrested for driving under the influence if testing indicates you have more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood in your system. That is usually represented as a blood alcohol count of 0.08. Before you decide to drink and drive, know that a BAC over that amount will lead to being charged with a criminal offense.
Driving and Recreational Drug Use
The current laws also extend to driving while impaired because of taking some type of recreational drug. As any Toronto criminal lawyer can advise the client, the decision to use some type of recreational drug and then attempt to drive is a serious legal issue. The first offense typically includes a three-day suspension of driving privileges and the need to pay a stiff fine. A second offense paves the way for a seven-day suspension while a third will get you a month without driving privileges.
Keep in mind that paying the fine and finding another way to work is not the end of it. You now have negative entries on your driving record. That could influence your ability to obtain auto insurance or even impact the potential to find another job.
Prescription Drug Use is Not Exempt
While you may understand that the use of recreational drugs could cause problems, have you thought about the use of medications your doctor prescribed? The fact is that if those medications slow your reaction time or in any way interfere with your ability to operate a motor vehicle, you could be charged with driving under the influence of drugs. The fact that they are legal and you have a prescription alters nothing. You are subject to the same suspensions and fines. The charges will also appear on your driving record and could cause issues for many years to come.
The bottom line is that you need help from one of the Barrie DUI lawyers if you are pulled over on a suspicion of driving under the influence. It doesn’t matter whether you had one drink too many or have taken medication that your doctor prescribed. If you face this type of situation, hire a lawyer as quickly as possible. That’s the only way to truly understand what options for a defense are available and how different approaches could be best in your situation.
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