Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm: Sentence & Charges

There are many misconceptions about impaired driving causing bodily harm sentences and charges.

One of the biggest is that you must have a blood-alcohol content (BAC) of 0.08 (80 milligrams) or over to be charged with impaired driving. Unfortunately, this can lead people to presume, because they have not had “too many”, they cannot be charged with impaired driving. 

According to the provisions of the “Operation While Impaired” offence under paragraph 253 of the Criminal Code of Canada:

253 (1) Every one 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,

(a) while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by alcohol or a drug; or

(b) 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.

In other words, under the law, you can be considered “impaired” while driving a motor vehicle even if your BAC is below 80 milligrams.

Maximum sentences for impaired driving (DWI) convictions are identical to those of driving under the influence (DUI – over 80 milligrams BAC) convictions.

Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm Sentences

Canada recently introduced new, more stringent impaired driving laws and they are now among the toughest in the world. 

While the maximum penalty for summary convictions of DWI and DUI are 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fines, impaired driving causing bodily harm is a more serious, indictable offence and liable for a maximum penalty of imprisonment for a term of 10 years. In addition to fines and being liable to imprisonment, sentencing penalties can include driving prohibitions for many years following conviction.

Considering the potential severity of sentencing, you should get the legal advice of a criminal lawyer with experience and expertise in defending against impaired driving causing bodily harm charges to ensure your full rights are protected.
If you found this article helpful, check out our post “First Offence Dui: 4 Things You Should Know”.

What is the Law for Drinking and Boating?

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As winter ends and Canada heats back up to a reasonable temperature, many Canadians flock to the water to bask in the often short-lived summer heat. There are tons of boating possibilities across the country’s numerous lakes, from renting a houseboat with friends, to fishing, to hopping in a neighbour’s motorboat for a ride.

This is a time to socialize and let the cares of the world drift away, a ritual that often includes a few cold drinks on a boat deck. It’s important to note that in Canada, operating a boat while under the influence of alcohol or drugs is a criminal offence. Continue reading

St. Patrick’s Day Weekend

This weekend is known for it’s green beer, Kiss Me I’m Irish shirts, and leprechaun hats. If you decide to join the masses for the festivities, plan a safe ride home. The consequences of operating a vehicle after tipping a few can get quite serious.

Depending on your height and weight, even one drink could put you in the warning zone and two could put you over the legal limit of 0.08 percent. If you are pulled over, either by a police car on the road, or through a R.I.D.E check point they will ask you to take a breath test if there is any suspicion that you may be under the influence. Blowing over will land you charged and potentially convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada.

There are two offences pertaining to impaired driving listed in the Criminal Code of Canada. Section 253(1)(a) states that it is illegal to operate, or to have care or control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both. Section 253(1)(b) states that it is illegal to operate, or to have care or control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration of over 0.08 percent. For those of you out there who think they’ll simply just refuse to do what the police say and not give a sample, not so fast. Refusing to comply is just as bad, with identical penalties as a conviction.

Avoid a criminal record and be safe this weekend! Call a cab, have a designated driver, take public transit or stay over night.

If things don’t go as planned, and you do end up facing impaired driving-related charges, call X-Copper Legal Services. We can help you through it.

Holiday Ride Program 2012

As the holiday season approaches, the “Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere” or RIDE for short, programs will come into full swing. Chances are that you will be stopped at some point by an officer at one of these check points.

When approaching these check points here are a few things to keep in mind….

  • Slow down, drive cautiously.
  • Have all your documents handy. You don’t need to produce them unless the police ask. If asked you will be required to produce your vehicle ownership, proof of insurance and your license.
  • Don’t take off your seatbelt. You should wear your seatbelt in your car at all times. Do not take if off for any reason when approaching the RIDE program. You can receive a ticket for not wearing your seatbelt.
  • Don’t reach for your phone. It is against the law to use a personal communication device when you are driving the car, even if it’s a red light or a RIDE program.
  • Stay Calm. Cooperate fully with the police and ensure your passengers act responsibly and courteously.
  • Don’t Drink and Drive. Play it safe, don’t be on the road after you drink.
  • Road Side Sample. If the officer asks you to provide a road side sample YOU MUST PROVIDE IT. You can be charged if you refuse to provide a breath sample if demanded to do so by police.

If you get charged this holiday season, learn and know your rights! Call X-Copper at 1-888-X-COPPER (926-7737) for a Free no obligation consultation. We will review with you all your documents, and explain all your options to you, giving you all the tools you need to make an informed decision.

QandA – DUI Q2

“My licence was suspended and I got a ticket for having alcohol in my system because I have a novice (G2) driver’s licence. I only had one drink and I was the designated driver. This doesn’t seem fair, what should I do?”

QandADon’t be fooled by the relatively low fine on this ticket. It does not carry any demerit points; however due to the nature of the offence and with it being alcohol related, a conviction will severely impact your insurance premiums. The conviction also carries an automatic 30 day licence suspension.

For more information on Ontario DUI charges or Impaired Driving please Contact X-Copper to find out how we can help save your licence.

QandA – Suspended License Q2

“Can my license be suspended before I even go to court”

QandAYes. Anyone that either blows over the legal limit of .08 or refuses to give a breath sample is subject to an automatic 90 day suspension of their drivers licence. If convicted in court, you will receive an additional drivers licence suspension along with a criminal record and a substantial fine. You should consult a professional before going to court.

QandA – DUI Criminal Charge

“Does a criminal conviction remain on my record for the rest of my life?”

QandAUnless you request a Pardon, the criminal conviction will stay on your record. You can request a Pardon for most criminal convictions after three years if you meet the requirements. When requesting a Pardon, you should also request a “U.S. Entry Waiver” to ensure your eligibility to travel to the United States. Call X-Copper for help with a  Pardon and/or a “U.S. Entry Waiver”.