Nicholas Charitsis is a Toronto lawyer specializing in refuse breathalyzer test charges in the Toronto and area courts. Consultations for refuse breath tests are conducted at no charge by calling 416-878-2275 or contacting our office.
As a Toronto Lawyer I focus on drinking and driving cases and I know when you’re arrested for Refuse Breath Test it’s a traumatic event.
When a driver is stopped driving a motor vehicle in Ontario the police officer may demand that the driver take a breathalyzer test. If the driver refuses the police may be charge the driver with refusing to take a breathalyzer.
Can I Refuse a Breathalyzer Test
Any driver can refuse a breathalyzer test if they wish to do so.
If the driver does refuse to take the test the police can charge the driver with the criminal offence of “Refuse Breath Test”.
The penalty for refusing the test is the same penalty as if the driver took the test and failed. Subsequently it is usually in the best interest in most cases for the driver to comply with the demand and provide a sample of breath because;
- The driver may pass the test
- The breath tests give another area to dispute the charge
- Low breathalyzer readings may make the driver eligible for reduced charges
Where a driver refuses to take the breath test the defence will deal with the issue of whether or not the police had a right or the grounds to demand a breathalyzer test and did the accused fail without lawfully authority to provide the breath test to the officer.
Fighting Refuse Breathalyzer Test Charges
I always advice my clients, just because the police have charged you with refusing a breathalyzer test does not mean you are guilty.
Although the charge of refusing a breathalyzer test may seem straight forward in that the driver either “did or did not provide a breath sample”, there are legal issues that the police and prosecution must prove to convict a driver of this charge.
It’s your right to have a judge hear your case and make and impartial decision based upon the facts. It’s for the judge to decide did the police do everything properly and legally, and did the accused have a legal explanation as to why they didn’t or were unable to take the breath test.
The police have a legal responsibility to ensure that when they demand a breathalyzer test that the driver understands what they are required to do, and the implications if they do not comply.
Many times this is not done properly by the police. If the accused did not fully understand, or the police did not explain properly or give the driver a reasonable opportunity to provide the breath sample, then this can become a defense to the charge.
As a criminal defense lawyer having represented over two thousand (2000) cases drinking and driving charges, I consider myself one of Toronto’s experts in defence of charges involving breathalyzer tests. I have the experience and trial knowledge to win your refuse breath test charge.
The Police May Demand a Breathalyzer Test When;
The police must have the lawful authority or grounds to demand that a driver provide a sample of their breath. The police may demand a breath test when;
- The police officer observes the driver driving a motor vehicle, and
- The police officer smells the odour of an alcoholic beverage on the drivers breath, or
- The police officer as asks the driver if they have consumed alcohol and the driver admits that they have consumed alcohol prior to driving.
- The police officer has arrested the driver for impaired driving, and
- The police officer has reasonable and probable grounds to believe that the accused ability to drive has been impaired due to the consumption of an alcoholic beverage.
When requested to supply a sample of breath for a breathalyzer the driver must comply with the officers demand. If the driver does not comply with the police officer the officer may arrest the driver.
Refusing Breath Test Penalties
The penalty for refusing a breathalyzer test in Ontario is the same as if the driver took the test and failed.
The charge of refuse breathalyzer test has the following penalties;
- mandatory drivers licence suspension for at least one year,
- a criminal record for life
- a fine between 1000 and 2000 dollars
- insurance increase of thousands of dollars per year
- mandatory alcohol and drinking and driving counselling
- you may lose your livelihood, loss of employment, if you cannot drive
- the cost to reinstate your drivers license after conviction is approx. $3,500.00
Fighting Refuse Breath Test Charges
The police do make mistakes and they don’t win every case.
Charges for refusing a breathalyzer test can be won. Many times there are defences, compromises and solutions other than being found guilty of refusing a breath test and losing your license.
When you discuss your charge with me, a lawyer with years of trial experience with refusing a breath test charges in the Toronto area, you’ll learn that I can help you.
When it comes to fees, I am one of the most affordable lawyers in Toronto. You don’t have to pay the whole fee up front and I offer payment plans to fit your situation. A reasonable deposit gets me working to fight your case.
I offer a free initial consultation to discuss your case in detail, either at my office or a place convenient to you. Contact me to discuss your case free of charge.
Refuse Breathalyzer Test – Refuse Breath Test