Driving under the influence or impaired driving is more serious than some people realize. Far from being something that requires paying a fine and maybe having to show up one day in court, the impact of this type of event can have serious consequences. You’ll need a lawyer to fully understand the gravity of the situation, but here are a few basics that will help you get started.
Driving Under the Influence is a Criminal Offence
If you’ve ever heard that a charge of driving under the influence is not a big deal, you’ve heard wrong. It’s quite serious. You may ask is DUI a criminal offense in Canada? The answer is yes.
This puts a charge of DUI or impaired driving in a different class from minor offenses like littering or failing to use a turn signal. Make no mistake about it; you are not facing a misdemeanor charge. If convicted, you will find yourself facing some serious consequences. That’s why the best way of handling this type of situation is to never allow it to arise in the first place.
The Vehicle Doesn’t Have to Be Moving
Here’s something else that you may not realize about a DUI – you don’t have to be driving the vehicle for an arrest to take place. It’s possible to be in the driver’s seat with the keys in your hand or in the ignition, but with the vehicle not running. The fact that you have had too much to drink and are in a position to begin driving is reason enough to place you under arrest. That’s one reason why experts recommend people who have imbibed a little too much to arrange for a ride and wait for the pickup inside a tavern or club rather than chilling in your car.
Refusing a Breathalyzer Test Means a Trip to the Police Station
While you can refuse a breathalyzer test in Toronto, the result will be that the arresting officer will transport you to the nearest police station. The charge will initially be refusing to comply with a police demand. Things can escalate from there.
The most practical solution, even if you do think that you may be over the limit, is to cooperate and avoid the failure to comply charge. While there will still be repercussions due to the higher blood alcohol content, the fact that you cooperated will be taken into consideration.
A Conviction Has a Serious Effect on Your Life
If the arrest results in a conviction, do expect different aspects of your life to change. There may be the need to spend some time in jail, an event that will disrupt your life. Insurance rates will increase if your provider doesn’t drop you completely. Rest assured you will pay higher rates if you have to switch to a different provider.
You may lose your driving privileges for a time. Depending on the circumstances, the loss may be permanent. That in turn could have consequences for your social and work life.
The best solution is to avoid overindulgence while out and about. If it’s already too late for that, now is the time to check out various TorontoDUI.com lawyers reviews and settle on who to contact for a consultation. Your legal counsel can prepare a defense and ensure that your rights are protected while the lawyer works for the best possible outcome.