1
"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.

3


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