Common Questions about DUI and Impaired Driving Offences in Ottawa

People, who have been charged with an impaired driving offence, often have questions about their legal rights and the law. Below are some of the more common and frequently asked questions. Do keep in mind this content should only be used for informational purposes and not be taken as actual legal advice. If you require legal advice for an impaired driving offence, please consult with a qualified impaired driving lawyer in Ottawa.

Do I have the right to refuse to provide the police with a sample?

Yes, you have the obligation to provide a sample to the police. However, if you refuse to provide a sample, either roadside or after being transported to a police station, you can be charged with a “Refusal to Provide a Sample” impaired driving offence. If convicted and found guilty of the offence, you face the same penalties as being convicted and found guilty of impaired driving.

Can I be charged with an impaired driving offence if I am in a parked vehicle?

Yes. The police could still charge you with what is called a “Care and Control” impaired driving offence in certain situations. If you have the keys to the vehicle, regardless of whether they are in the ignition, and whether the vehicle is running or off, you can be considered to be in care and control of the vehicle. If you find you are impaired, it is better to not get into the vehicle, unless you have a designated driver and you give them the keys.

What can happen if I provide a sample and it is less than 0.80?

When providing a sample to the police, they are testing to determine whether your blood alcohol level has a concentration higher than 80 milligrams per 100 millilitres of blood. If your sample is less than 0.80, all it means is you will not be charged with the offence of “Driving over 0.80.” You could still potentially be charged with impaired driving.

Should I take a plea agreement or plead guilty to an impaired driving offence without speaking to a lawyer?

No. While it can be tempting to get the offence resolved as quickly as possible, there are serious consequences of taking a plea agreement or pleading guilty to impaired driving offences. It is in your best interests to discuss you matter with an experienced and skilled DUI lawyer in Ottawa to discover what options you have before you take a plea agreement or plead guilty to the charges.

A conviction for impaired driving results in a criminal record. The charge is also recorded on your driving record. Most impaired driving offences have mandatory punishments, which could include, but may not be limited to, minimum fines of at least $1,000, varying periods of license suspension and jail time, and paying all costs to have an interlock device installed and usage fees after license reinstatement. Additionally, the costs for vehicle insurance increases.

I still have further questions, what should I do?

If you have further questions about impaired driving offences, or if you have been charged with an impaired driving offence, contact Impaired Law Desk today by calling 613-695-8595 to speak directly to experienced and qualified Ottawa DUI lawyer, Céline Dostaler. Our law firm offers a free 30 minute consultation to discuss your matter and find out your legal rights and options.


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If this is urgent, call Céline Dostaler at 613-863-8595.