The Criminal Code of Canada contains two related but separate charges concerning drunk driving. The first charge is concerned with a person’s use or control of a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol (or a drug). The second is concerned specifically with a person’s use or control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content in excess of 80mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood (“over 80”).

It is important to know that a person can be convicted of each charge separately or together. That is, a person can be charged and convicted of driving with blood alcohol content over 80mg/100ml, but not impaired driving. A charge of over 80 is founded on the results of a breath analysis provided to police. Whereas, a charge for impaired driving requires that specific, objective indicators of impairment be present in order for police to lay the charge.

Evidence of impairment may include: driving erratically, bloodshot eyes, the smell of alcohol on a person’s breath, flushed face and slurred speech. The amount of alcohol a person has consumed is not evidence of impairment.

Impaired driving and over 80 are both serious criminal offences that come with severe punishments. These punishments can include loss of your license, mandatory fines and/or mandatory jail time. If you have been charged with impaired driving or over 80, you will want someone who knows the law advocating for your case. DeMelo Law can provide you with that experience.

Cassandra DeMelo is a defence attorney practicing in London, Ontario.
DeMelo Law provides judgement-free representation. Call for a free 1-hour consultation.