The most important thing to know about a first offence DUI (Driving Under the Influence) is that, even though it is a first offence for which you won’t be given jail time, it is still a criminal charge that could result in a criminal record.
In Ontario, you will face a DUI charge if you are found driving or in the care and control of a vehicle while you are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In the case of alcohol, you must show visible signs of impairment or register a blood alcohol content (BAC) of more than .08.
What You Should Know About a First Time DUI
Drivers in Canada and especially Ontario, face some of the toughest drunk driving laws in the world. The federal government recently increased fines and the powers police have to make DUI arrests.
In Ontario, not only is it illegal to drive under the influence, but it’s also illegal to drive when you are in the “care and control” of a vehicle, which includes even if the vehicle is stopped with the engine off. Here are a few other things that first-time DUI offenders should know.
- Police Officers Can Now Demand that You Take a Breathalyzer Test – Before recent changes to federal laws, officers needed to have a reasonable suspicion that you were impaired. Refusing to take the breathalyzer test can result in charges being laid.
- Penalties Are Stiff – If you get a first-time DUI conviction, the minimum penalties include:
- A $1,000 fine
- drivers’ license suspension of one year
- Installation into your vehicle of an ignition interlock device for alcohol screening for one year, at your own cost
- Participation in a counselling treatment program, at your own cost
- Criminal record
- You Are Now Exposed to the Penalties of a Second DUI – While some are able to tolerate first-time impaired driving penalties, what most don’t consider is how they leave you exposed to even stronger penalties if you get a second DUI conviction.
Among others, minimum penalties for a second conviction include a three-year license suspension, 30 days in jail and installation of an ignition interlock device for three years.
- You Need Expert Legal Advice – Considering the consequences of a first-time conviction, and the exposure you have to even more severe penalties for a second conviction, it is crucial that you seek specialized legal advice and representation as soon as you can after you are charged.
X-Copper’s winning defence team has the knowledge and experience to get the best possible outcome for you. Get in touch with us today to get Canada’s winning legal team on your side.
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