Drinking & Driving Lawyers in Montreal

Arrested for Impaired Driving? Our Lawyers Can Help You Avoid a DUI Conviction

Driving while impaired is often the result of poor decision-making. The consequences of getting arrested are immediate and impactful. You may lose your driver’s license, have your vehicle impounded, and, if convicted, face a mandatory minimum sentence. This makes negotiating to avoid a criminal record very challenging (but not impossible). 

If you’ve been arrested for DUI, you likely have many questions. For instance, how will a conviction affect your current job or future career prospects? You may be wondering if you need to notify your professional order. You may also be worried about how a DUI conviction could affect your immigration status.

We understand that each client has unique concerns and objectives. Our lawyers have experience handling various driving-related cases, and we can help you achieve your goals. Our approach has yielded proven results through both negotiation and trial. If you’ve been arrested for drinking and driving, it’s crucial to consult with experienced criminal lawyers to start preparing your defence. We know that this can be an incredibly stressful time, and we’re committed to working with you every step of the way.

What To do If You Have Been Charged with Drinking and Driving?

Prepare Your Defence

Reflect on the events in question and take note of your version of events, especially the following:

  • How you first came to the attention of the police;
  • What words were exchanged, and what actions were taken before your arrest;
  • Did the police officer have you blow into an Approved Screening Device at the roadside;
  • If so, did they have such a device with them or was it delivered to the scene;
  • Did they search you or your vehicle before your arrest;
  • Did the police officer inform you of your right to counsel;

It may also be a good idea to mentally note the quantity of alcohol you consumed and the corresponding time periods when the drinks were consumed. If you have any receipts from the bar that night, keep them.

Speak to A Lawyer

You no doubt have a number of questions and are rightly concerned about your future. You need the guidance and support of experienced counsel who have repeatedly helped people just like you.

Contact us today and speak with experienced counsel who are ready to take on your case and guide you through this difficult time.

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Understanding Drinking and Driving Offences And What To Expect

What’s the difference between impaired driving and driving over the legal limit of 0.8?

Driving under the influence (DUI) involves operating a motor vehicle while your ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or drugs. In order to be convicted, the Crown must prove that your ability to operate a vehicle was impaired, even slightly, by the effects of alcohol, drugs or a combination of them both. The Criminal Code also prohibits having care or control of a motor vehicle when your blood-alcohol concentration is 80mg/100ml or higher. For this infraction, the Crown can secure a conviction by simply proving that your blood alcohol level exceeds the legal limit.

What are the consequences of refusing to blow into a Breathalyzer or an Approved Screening Device?

If a police officer orders you to blow into a Breathalyzer or Screening Device and you fail to do so without a reasonable excuse, you may be charged with failure to comply. This offence carries a higher mandatory minimum fine than impaired driving and also has more severe immediate consequences. If you are convicted, there is also a longer period for the interlock device in your vehicle.

What happens if I am found guilty of drinking and driving?

Impaired driving carries a mandatory minimum sentence. For a first offence, the fine is between $1,000 and $2,000, automatically resulting in a criminal record. For a second offence, there is a minimum jail sentence of 30 days. A third offence (or more) carries a minimum jail sentence of 120 days. The imposition of a criminal record can have a severe consequence for those with a precarious immigration status (and may even result in deportation). There are also other considerations related to insurance and installing an interlock device.

What is our approach to resolving impaired driving offences?

Dealing with impaired driving charges can be quite challenging, as most of these offences come with mandatory minimum sentences. This makes it extremely difficult to avoid a criminal record through negotiation. Our approach may involve drafting a Charter application with the goal of getting the evidence (breathalyzer results) excluded. We can also apply for programs like Point Final with the goal of avoiding the mandatory minimum jail sentence or the duration of interlock installation on your vehicle. Of course, if the negotiation is unsuccessful, we can proceed with the trial. This can be done through filing a Charter application to get the judge to exclude the evidence or to get an acquittal because the Crown cannot prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.

Facing criminal charges in Montreal or surrounding areas? Contact us now—we’re here to help!