Under the previous legislation, the impaired driving provisions related to impaired operation of motor vehicles, aircraft, vessels and railway equipment. The new provisions have now been amended so that all provisions read as impaired operation of a “conveyance”. The definition of “conveyance” includes motor vehicles, aircraft, vessels and railway equipment.
You can be charged with impaired operation of a conveyance in one of two ways: first, the officer will have observed your driving pattern, overall demeanour, physical appearance and whether there is a smell of alcohol on your breath. If, from their observations, the officer is satisfied that they have reasonable and probable grounds to believe your ability to operate a conveyance is impaired by alcohol, they can arrest you for impaired driving.
Second, an officer can demand that you provide a sample of your breath into an approved screening device for analysis. If you register a fail on that device, the officer will be satisfied that they have reasonable and probable grounds to believe your ability to operate a conveyance is impaired by alcohol and they can arrest you.
After you are arrested, the officer will take you back to the police detachment for further analysis to determine the level of alcohol concentration in our blood. You should be read your rights to contact counsel and remain silent upon arrest. The officer will ask you if you would like to contact a lawyer and should give you the opportunity to do so without delay if you say yes. Once you have spoken to a lawyer, you will be required to provide two samples of your breath to a qualified expert technician. If your blood alcohol concentration is higher than 80mg, you will also be charged with a second offence: operating a conveyance while your blood alcohol concentration was higher than 80 milligrams.
If you refuse to provide a sample, either on the approved screening device at the roadside or to the expert qualified technician, you will be charged with another criminal offence – that is, refusal to provide a sample.
Upon release, you will be given a number of forms, including upcoming appearance dates. You must attend on the mandated date for fingerprints. You must also attend on the mandated date for first appearance in court, and every court appearance date afterwards, unless you retain counsel to appear on your behalf. Your license will also be suspended, and your vehicle may be impounded for up to 30 days.
If you have been charged with any impaired offence, you should speak to one of our expert lawyers immediately. We will work to get your driving privileges reinstated as soon as possible.