Drinking and Driving…know your rights!

Slide3DrunkDrivingIt’s been a long night out with friends, you’re driving home, there’s a road block ahead, you pull up…then comes the inevitable…

“License and registration…”

Do you know your rights?

By law, a police office may ask to see an individuals license and registration at any time, while said person is operating a motor vehicle, even if the vehicle is in park.  If a police officer assumes the driver to be under the influence of alcohol, they can request the following; a sample from your breath,  or a simple “comprehension test”. Both tests are at the discretion of the officer.  It should be noted that the office however, must always have reasonable and probable cause for the request, some of the indicia being; slurred speech, fumbling for documentation, swaying back and forth, inability to answer questions coherently, red flushed face, glossy eyes, or the smell of alcohol on breath.

Should you refuse to provide a sample?

Refusing to provide a sample will automatically induce “refusal charges”.  Refusal charges carry the same consequences as blowing over the legal alcohol limit and there are fewer defences to this charge.

Consequences of an IRP?

An IRP, also known as an “Immediate Roadside Prohibition” or colloquially known as a DUI, carries the following penalties;

  • Suspended license for 90 days
  • Vehicle impounded for 30 days
  • Possible enrollment in a responsible drivers program! (costs for this program can be around a few thousand dollars)
  • Possible installment of an interlock device in your vehicle

Did you know?

Contrary to popular belief, during any road stop regarding an ‘IRP’, you are not automatically entitled to a lawyer on scene.  The province amended the law in 2016, deeming ‘IRPs’ provincial infractions under the motor vehicle act as opposed to criminal offenses.  However, it is imperative that you contact a strong defense lawyer immediately after the incident, as you are only granted seven days to dispute the allegations.  A defense lawyer can assist with conducting a written or oral review, in which the superintendent must prove the charges against you.  There are numerous potential defenses to these prohibitions, including but not limited to;

  • Challenging the grounds to which the officer formed his reasonable suspicions
  • Whether the police officer checked for residual mouth alcohol
  • Whether the officer can prove you had care and control of the vehicle
  • Whether all of the information is properly presented before the adjudicator

At David Karp Law Corp, we have been highly successful in defending IRP cases, including having all charges dropped.  For your free consultation contact David Karp, immediately to defend your legal rights. Or call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 604.218.0840 .

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