Drug-Impaired Driving

Being convicted of impaired by drug charges has similar penalties as being convicted of impaired by alcohol charges. This area of law is complicated and carries with it significant consequences for those charged with impaired driving. It goes without saying, the stakes are extremely high for anyone charged with this type of offence and the lawyers at Chand Snider LLP can provide you with the legal support to ensure your rights are vigorously protected.

CRIMINAL OFFENCE OF IMPAIRED DRIVING

It is a criminal offence if you are operating or having care or control of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. There are multiple offences in the Criminal Code that make impaired driving punishable. Not only can you get a criminal record for impaired driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, but a conviction may also be accompanied by fines and suspensions.

Subsection 253(1) of the Criminal Code provides:

Everyone commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or vessel or operates or assists in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment, whether it is in motion or not,

  1. while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by alcohol or a drug; or
  2. having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person’s blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood.

REASONABLE GROUNDS

Where a police officer has “reasonable grounds” and suspects you are operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs within the last 3 hours, they can request a sample of breath, make you participate in field sobriety testing or both. Smelling the odour of marijuana, strange behavior, erratic driving, blood shot eyes and slurred speech are all reasons for a police officer to have the required reasonable suspicion and can result in further testing and evaluation.

Specially-trained drug recognition experts (“DRE”) are officers trained to recognize impairment for drugs and alcohol. After further tests, if the DRE has reasonable grounds that an individual is impaired they can demand a sample of fluid, urine or blood depending on the circumstances of the investigation.

ONTARIO’S CRACKDOWN ON IMPAIRED DRIVING

The Province of Ontario is committed to creating and enforcing stricter laws to punish drivers caught driving while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol. Recent proposals to the relevant legislation would reform much of the existing impaired driving sections of the Criminal Code.

Being convicted of impaired driving can have a serious impact on your life and future and with recent crackdowns and tougher sentences being imposed on impaired drivers, if you or a loved one has been charged with impaired driving, you can’t afford not to call the experienced lawyers at Chand Snider LLP.

The information provided in this article is merely information for the reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you or a loved one have been charged or are currently being investigated for a crime, ensure your rights are protected and call Chand Snider LLP.

Back to News / Articles