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Misconceptions about DUI and Drunk Driving

People have several misconceptions when it comes to drunk driving and DUI (driving under the influence) of drugs and/or alcohol. To help people better understand the seriousness of drunk driving and DUI, lets review some of the more common misconceptions.

DUI and drunk driving is limited to set hours in the evening until the early morning hours before people get up and start their days.

However, this is a misconception. Drunk driving and DUIs can occur at any time of the day or night. For instance, on July 22, 2016, a man was driving at high speeds on Highway 417 on his way to work while under the influence of alcohol. This particular incident was caught on video and was reported by various media outlets.

The suspect crossed over several lanes of traffic, ran his vehicle into the centre concrete median, and even crossed onto the concrete shoulder while attempting to exit the highway. The suspect arrived at his workplace, where he was met by police, who conducted a sobriety test, which he failed.

All drunk drivers and DUI offenders are alike.

Drunk driving and DUI offences have been filed against people from all social and economic backgrounds. DUI and drunk driving is not limited to a particular social or economic class. Even famous celebrities, politicians, and assistant Crown attorneys have been charged with impaired driving and driving over 80 offences.

A more recent case of a public figure pleading guilty to a drunk driving offence was assistant Crown attorney Matthew Humphreys. On June 9, 2016, he was sentenced to pay a $1,400 fine, the costs to install an interlock device in his vehicle, and a $420 surcharge fee. Plus, his license was suspended for a year.

The majority of people charged with DUIs and drunk driving are men.

While men have traditionally made up the majority of DUIs and drunk driving offences, this is no longer the case. The number of women drivers being charged with these offences has been on the rise over the past decade. According to a study conducted by the Traffic Injury Research Foundation in Ottawa, there seems to be a trend where the number of women being charged for impaired driving offences is increasing, while at the same time the number of men being charged is slowly declining.

Only those of legal drinking age are charged with impaired driving offences.

The vast majority of people of legal drinking age rarely drive after consuming alcohol above the legal limit, largely due to risks and costs of being charged and found guilty of a DUI offence. Rather, young drivers are a bigger concern and tend to drive drunk or under the influence more often than drivers of legal drinking age. According to The Traffic Injury Research Foundation, drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 accounted for over 25% fatally injured impaired drivers over the legal limit in 2008.

DISCLAIMER: Please keep in mind the above is provided for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. If you have been charged with an impaired driving offence, schedule a free 30-minute consultation appointment today with Ottawa criminal defence lawyer, Celine Dostaler by calling 613-695-8595 now to obtain the legal advice you need!

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