If a breath test shows that your blood alcohol level was over 80mg per 100mL of blood (or 0.08 percent), you can be arrested and face charges of impaired driving in Canada. Many people think that if they blew over 80, the Crown can automatically prove their charges, and there is no hope to avoid a conviction. Unfortunately, this leads many people to simply plead guilty to the charges without first speaking to a defence lawyer, which means they often accept penalties than are much harsher than necessary. The truth is that there are ways to fight against a DUI conviction and to minimize the impact on your life. Always discuss a DUI arrest with a defence lawyer before you make any decisions in your case.
No matter what your breath test results may be, police officers in Canada still must adhere to the law and cannot violate your Charter rights. From the time an officer pulls you over to the time you are released from jail, there are many opportunities for officers to go against required procedures and violate your rights. Any violations can be used as a defence to eliminate key evidence against you in your case.
An experienced defence lawyer will evaluate the actions taken by police before and during your arrest and identify any mistakes or violations by officers. Errors can allow your lawyer to argue that your breath test results and other evidence should not be allowed in court. While such mistakes might seem like technicalities, these technicalities can mean the difference between your charges being dropped and having a criminal record.
Another way you might be able to avoid an impaired driving conviction is for your lawyer to examine the possibility of a curative discharge. This option can avoid a conviction and, instead, have you complete a period of probation and seek curative treatment. Once this period is completed, your case can be dropped.
Your lawyer can help demonstrate that you are in need of curative treatment by presenting medical records and proof of your participation in treatment since your arrest. Your defence lawyer will also need to convince the court that a discharge of your offence is not against the public interest. While you will still be subject to the driving suspension, and you will need to abide by all the terms of your treatment and probation, curative discharge can benefit you by avoiding an impaired driving conviction on your criminal record.