Choosing to drink and get behind the wheel is not a smart move. Even so, there are those who believe the worst that will happen is the individual will be fined and possibly spend the night in jail. In fact, the laws in Ontario are among the most stringent in Canada and any other area of North America. Here are five facts that you need to keep in mind before you decide that a drinking and driving lawyer in Toronto can step in and make everything all right.
Zero BAC Laws and How They Apply
BAC means blood alcohol content. All drivers are subject to testing, but the results will yield different consequences for various types of drivers. If you have a provisional licence, the test must confirm that you have no alcohol in your bloodstream. Drivers with full licences must have less than 0.05% BAC in order to not be charged with impaired driving.
The Car Doesn’t Have to be Moving
You could be sitting in the driver’s seat of a car that is parked and be cited for impaired driving. Even if the engine is not running and the keys are in your pocket, an officer who sees you stumble to the car and get behind the wheel has the authority to step in and determine if you’ve been drinking. If you do have one too many, your best course of action is to have another licenced driver who is sober drive you home.
Two Offenses in Five Years Will Require Driver Education
For a first offense that involve a low BAC, the driver is likely to receive a one to three-day suspension and pay a fine. Depending on the circumstances, some time in jail may be ordered and the judge does have the discretion to place the party on probation.
If a second offense takes place within five years of the first, the potential for jail time increases, the fine will definitely be higher, and the licence could be suspended or revoked. In addition, the guilty party will be required to take and successfully complete government-approved driver education course.
Impaired Driving Convictions Linger on the Record
You may think that a conviction for impaired driving will not stay on your record that long. As any of the drunk driving lawyers in Toronto will confirm, a conviction remains on your record for a full decade. During that time, you an expect to pay higher premiums for auto insurance. The conviction may also have some impact on your ability to be considered for certain types of employment.
You Must Submit to a Breath Analysis Upon Request by an Officer
If an officer requests that you undergo a breath analysis, your best bet is to agree. Even if you have not been drinking and know for a fact that you are not intoxicated, choosing to refuse the test is grounds for the officer to suspend your licence on the spot. That leads to the necessity of going through a time-consuming process to recover your driving privileges.
There is more that an impaired driving lawyer can tell you about drinking and driving in Toronto. Unless you want to put that knowledge to the test, your best option is to never get behind the wheel after drinking. Play it safe and arrange for a taxi or a friend to take you home instead. Your wise action will serve you well in the future.