Where the police investigate a driver and learn that they have more than 80mgs of alcohol/100 millilitres of blood in their system, the police may charge the driver with the offence of Driving over 80mgs.
Drive Over 80 mgs
Eighty (80) milligrams of alcohol is the level of alcohol consumption for Canadian drivers.
Where a driver is found to have an alcohol level over .08 the police may arrest can charge the driver with the criminal offence of driving over 80mgs.
Driving Over 80 Means
Driving over 80 mgs only means that, the police tested for alcohol and the reading was over the legal limit. The measurement is sometimes called the “BAC Level”, Blood Alcohol Concentration.
Many individuals arrested for driving over 80 were unaware they were committing a crime, believing themselves to be sober. Here’s what driving over 80 means:
- The driver consumed alcohol.
- The driver was operating a motor vehicle.
- A breathalyzer test was administered.
- The test showed a BAC over 0.08 milligrams.
The blood/alcohol reading gives the police and courts a percentage of alcohol in the driver’s bloodstream.
However, driving over 80 does not necessarily imply:
- The driver was drunk.
- The driver was visibly intoxicated.
- The driver was impaired while driving.
Being over 80 milligrams simply indicates a breathalyzer test detected alcohol levels exceeding the legal limit.
“BAC Level” or Blood Alcohol Concentration is the term often used for this measurement.
The penalties for Driving over .80mgs are the same as if you were arrested for impaired driving including:
- a criminal record for life
- impoundment of the vehicle
- immediate 90 day suspension
- a fines of $1000 to $2000 dollars
- jail for serious or repeat offences
- mandatory Ignition Interlock Device
- dramatic insurance increases
- one year licence suspension
Where your job include driving a motor vehicle, your employment will be affected.
Under the Criminal Code of Canada a motor vehicle is anything driven by any type of engine, including construction equipment and farm machinery, even on private property.
Fighting Drive Over 80
You may think that if the police have charged you with Drive Over 80mgs, you’re automatically guilty, but that’s not true:
- the judge decides not the police
- there can be many legal defences
- mistakes are made, and
- many times drivers are just not guilty
Many times there are defences, compromises and solutions other than being convicted of driving over 80 mgs.
When the police arrest someone with a BAC level over 80, they have strict rules for collecting evidence. Where a mistake is made or your rights violated the charge will be affected.
Our criminal defence team has years of court experience with legal experts like former Toronto police breathalyzer technicians and alcohol toxicologists standing by to assist in your defence.
Impaired Driving vs Over 80 mgs
Driving over 80 milligrams and impaired driving are two closely related but distinct criminal offences, each with its unique criteria and legal implications.
Impaired driving involves allegations by the police that a driver’s ability to operate a vehicle has been affected or impaired. This impairment is typically due to:
- The consumption of alcohol or drugs.
- The focus being on the driver’s impaired ability, regardless of the specific level of intoxication or blood alcohol content.
In contrast, Driving Over 80 Milligrams is a charge that depends on the results of a breathalyzer test. It is characterized by:
- A blood/alcohol level exceeding 0.80 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood.
- The charge applies irrespective of any impairment in the driver’s ability to operate the vehicle.
For an impaired driving charge, there must be evidence of abnormal driving behavior that clearly indicates the driver’s ability was compromised. This could include erratic driving, inability to follow traffic signals, or other signs of impaired motor skills. However, in cases of driving over 80 milligrams, the need for such evidence of poor driving is not necessary.
It’s important to note that drivers can be charged with one or both offences, depending on the observations and decisions of the responding police officer, as well as the specific circumstances of the incident.
Drive Over 80 & Breathalyzer Test Requirements
Police officers have the authority to demand a breathalyzer test from a driver under several circumstances. These situations include:
- Where the driver is in care and control of a motor vehicle, whether it is in motion or stationary.
- Following an arrest for impaired driving, based on the officer’s observations or other evidence
- Where the police officer detects the smell of alcohol on the driver’s breath, indicating recent alcohol consumption.
- The driver admits to consuming alcohol prior to or while driving.
It is important to note that if a driver refuses to provide a breath sample when requested, the police have the right to charge the individual with refusal to take a breathalyzer test. This refusal itself can carry significant legal consequences.
Once the police have established lawful authority to demand a breathalyzer test — whether due to suspicion of impairment or evidence of alcohol consumption — the driver is legally obliged to comply. The driver must accompany the officer to facilitate the administration of the breathalyzer tests. Failing to comply can lead to further legal complications and potential charges.
Legal Issues & Drive over 80mgs
In preparing a legal defence for a case involving driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over 80 milligrams, several key legal issues are carefully examined:
- This aspect scrutinizes whether your BAC was over the legal limit while you were actually driving, or after the driving, or at the police station?
- The timing of the breathalyzer test is crucial. Was it conducted as soon as practical after being arrested ?
- Time factors play a significant role in DUI cases, impacting the validity and interpretation of BAC results.
Rights to Counsel
- Police obligations include informing you about your right to a lawyer, making legal counsel accessible, and ensuring privacy during your consultation.
- Violations of these rights can lead to the dismissal of charges, as they are fundamental to a fair legal process.
- Understanding your “Rights to Counsel” is critical in determining if due process was followed.
As Soon as Reasonably Possible
- Law enforcement must avoid any unreasonable delays in the process.
- This includes promptly conducting arrests and administering breathalyzer tests.
- The principle of “as soon as reasonably possible” is key to maintaining the integrity of the legal procedure.
Right to Trial within a Reasonable Time Period
- Your trial must occur within a timeframe deemed reasonable by legal standards.
- Delayed trials that violate the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms can lead to case dismissal.
- Ensuring a trial within a reasonable period is a right protected under the Charter.
Proof Beyond a Reasonable Doubt
- The judge must be wholly convinced of the driver’s guilt, with no lingering doubts.
- The burden of proof is high; any uncertainty about guilt should lead to the dismissal of the charge.
- The standard of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” is a cornerstone of criminal law, safeguarding against wrongful convictions.In each of these areas, the legal intricacies are vital to the defence strategy, focusing on ensuring that your rights are upheld and that all procedures have been lawfully executed.
Getting Started with Legal Representation
If you or a loved one is facing criminal charges, obtaining legal advice is a crucial first step. You can begin this process by calling and speaking to one of our criminal lawyers at 416-731-7113.
During this initial call, which is entirely confidential, you’ll have the opportunity to discuss your situation with the lawyer, ask questions, and receive professional guidance and advice. This consultation is offered without any fee or obligation.
Based on this discussion, the lawyer can provide an opinion on your case, highlighting possible defences, give an opinion on outcomes, relevant legal arguments, actions you can take to support your case.
If you decide to proceed with our services, we will arrange a meeting, either in person at our office or through a Zoom meeting online, to further discuss the details of your case, strategize your defence, and plan for the upcoming court date. A reasonable deposit, ranging from 10 to 25 percent, is requested upon agreeing to retain our services, ensuring a commitment to your defense and legal support.