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drinking and driving offences

VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 6

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                        "DRINKING AND DRIVING OFFENCES"



       My essay is on "Drinking and Driving Offences".    In my essay I
will

tell you the various kinds of drinking and driving offences, the
penalties,

and the defences you can make if you are caught drinking and driving.


       Let me tell you about the different offences.   There are six
offences

in drinking and driving.   They are "driving while impaired", "Having care

and control of a vehicle while impaired", "Driving while exceeding 80
m.g.",

"Having care and control of a vehicle while exceeding 80 m.g.", "Refusing

to give a breath sample", and "refusing to submit to a roadside screen
test.

These are all Criminal Code Offences.


       Now lets talk about the penalties of drinking and driving.    The

sentence for "refusing to give a breath sample" is usually higher than

either of the "exceeding 80 m.g." offences.   Consequently it is usually

easier in the long run for you to give a breath sample if asked.    If, for

example you are convicted of "Refusing ato give a breath sample" for the

first time, but was earlier convicted of "Driving while impaired", your

conviction for "Refusing" will count as a second conviction, not a first,

and will receive the stiffer penalty for second offences.


       For the first offence here is the penalty and the defences you can

make. Driving a vehicle while your ability to drive is impaired by
alcohol
or drugs is one of the offences.    Evidence of your condition can be used

to convict you.    This can include evidence of your general conduct,
speech,

ability to walk a straight line or pick up objects.    The penalty of the

first offences is a fine of $50.00 to $2000.00 and/or imprisonment of up

to six months, and automatic suspension of licence for 3 months.     The
second

offence penalty is imprisonment for 14 days to 1 year and automatic
suspen-

sion of licence for 6 months.    The third offence penalty is imprisonment

                                                                               2


for 3 months to 2 years (or more) and automatic suspension of licence for

six months.    These penalties are the same for the following offences.


      "Having Care and Control of a Motor Vehicle while Impaired" is
another

offence.    Having care and control of a vehicle does not require that you

be driving it.    Occupying the driver's seat, even if you did not have the

keys, is sufficient.    Walking towards the car with the keys could be
suffi-

cient. Some defences are you were not impaired, or you did not have care
and

control because you were not in the driver's seat, did not have the keys,

etc. It is not a defence that you registered below 80 m.g. on the
breath-

ayzer test.    Having care and control depends on all circumstances.


           "Driving While Exceeding 80 m.g. is the next offence.   Driving a

vehicle, having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the proportion

of alcohol in your blood exceeds 80 miligrams of alcohol in 100
mililitres

of blood.    Some defences are the test was administered improperly, or
the breathalyzer machine was not functioning properly.


        "Having Care and control of a Motor Vehicle while Exceeding 80
m.g."

is the next offence I will talk about.     This offence means having care
and

control of a vehicle whether it is in motion or not, having consumed
alcohol

in such a quantity that the proportion of alcohol in your blood exceeds
80

miligrams of alcohol in 100 mililitres of blood.    The defences are the
test

was administered improperly, or the breathalyzer machine was not
functioning

properly.   To defend against breathalyzer evidence you must understand
how

the test should be administered.    The proper procedure for a breathalyzer

test is as follows.     Warming up the machine until the thermometer
registers

50 degrees centigrade.    This should take at least 10 minutes.   The
machine

should then be turned to zero (by using the "adjust zero control") and a

comparison ampoulel (of normal air) inserted. if the metre remains at
zero,

the test can proceed.    An ampoule with a standard solution is then
inserted.

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If the metre reads high or low by more than .02% on two successive tests,

the machine should not be used.    If the trial is valid, the machine
should

be flushed with room air and the pointer set at start.     You will then be

asked to provide two breath samples, about fifteen minutes apart.
Normally
they will take the result of the lowest result and use it as evidence

against you.


        "Refusing to Give a Breath Sample" means refusing without a

reasonable excuse to give a sample or refusing without a reasonable
excuse

to accompany a polic officer, when demanded by the police officer.
Before

demanding by the police officer, he must have reasonable and probable

grounds to believe that you are committing or at any time in the
preceeding

two hours have committed, one of the offences of driving or having care
and

control of a vehicle while impaired or while having a blood alcohol level
in

excess of 80 m.g.   You can refuse to give a breath sample until you have

communicated in private with your lawyer even if this takes you beyond
the

two hour period, unless it is shown that your request for a lawyer was
not

genuine and merely to delay the testing.   The test can be done after the
two

hour period, but a technician must testify in court as to what your blood

alcohol would have been in the two hour period.   You cannot refuse to
accom-

pany the officer until you see your lawyer.   You can argue that the
officer

didn't have reasonable and probable grounds to suspect you, but this
however

depends on the circumstances.


        "Refusing to submit to a Roadside Screening Test" is the last

offence. When you commit this offence you are refusing without
reasonable
excuse to give a breath sample for a roadside screening device, or
refusing

without reasonable excuse to accompany a police officer for the purposes
of

giving such a sample, when demanded by an officer.    Before the officer

demands a breathalyzer he must reasonably suspect that you have alcohol
in

your blood.
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           The maximum penalties for impaired driving causing bodily harm to

someone is up to 10 years in prison and up to a 10 year prohabition from

driving.    The maximum penalties for impaired driving causing death is up

to 14 years and a 10 year prohabition from driving.    The maximum penalty

for manslaughter and criminal negligence causing death is up to life in

prison and up to a lifetime prohabition from driving.


           I think that these penalties for all the drinking and driving

offences are very appropriate, but I think impaired driving causing death

should be a lifetime imprisonment.    Also if a person is impaired and

causes bodily harm to some one they should have their licence suspended

from him for 20 years instead of 10 years.
                                BIBLIOGRAPHY



Highway Traffic Law, (Copyright January 1986: Community Legal Education
Ontario) p.17-32



Government Document, Canada Law Reform Commision Report on Investigative
Tests: Aclohol, Drugs, and Driving Offences (1983).



Erwin,Richard E. M.Bender ,Defence of Drunk Driving Cases, Criminal Civil
(Albany 1986) p.79-81
Purich, Donald John, Drinking and Driving:What To Do If Your Caught
(International Self Counsel Pr. 1978) p.22-25



Verticle File at Hill Crest Library, Drinking and Driving-Offences ands
penalties:A Summary (1988) p.2



Verticle File at Hill Crest Liabrary, Criminal Code-Part 6 (1989),
section 3, section 11.



Verticle File at Hill Crest Library, HighWay Trafic (1989), section 26

								
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