In short — no.

The police have the right to request a roadside breath test and a breathalyzer test only if they have reasonable suspicion that alcohol has been consumed. Though you will not be forced to give a roadside breath sample, not providing one may have serious consequences leading to a charge under the Criminal Code.

The consequences of being charged with ‘refusal to provide a sample’ are similar to being convicted of impaired driving and could include fines, imprisonment, suspension of licence, and a criminal record. If you were charged under the Criminal Code for a refusal, you will also be charged under the Highway Traffic Act and your licence will be suspended for 90 days, your vehicle impounded for 7 days, and you will also be liable for an administrative penalty of $180.

Failing a roadside breath test will not result in a penalty. However, failing a breathalyzer test would bring about charges. You do not have the right to consult a lawyer before a roadside sample request, but you have the right to consult a lawyer before the formal breathalyzer test at the police station. If you have been charged with impaired driving, refusal to provide a sample, or would like more information, please contact DeMelo Law.