Can I Get DUI Charges Dropped in Ontario?

Can I Get DUI Charges Dropped in Ontario? DUI Lawyer

If you’re facing DUI charges in Ontario, we know one of your first questions will be whether you can get DUI charges dismissed so you can move forward with your life. Getting DUI charges dropped completely can be challenging, but a few strategies may help you reduce the consequences of a conviction or even dismiss the charges entirely. Notably, one of the most effective ways to have your charges lowered or dismissed altogether is turning to expert DUI defence lawyers who have experience with cases like yours and know the law.

Today, we’ll discuss some factors that can play a role in your ability to get DUI charges dropped in Ontario, including the circumstances of your case, any errors made by law enforcement, and how having a knowledgeable DUI lawyer on your side can help. Keep reading to learn more about strategies to get DUI charges dismissed or reduced in Ontario.

What is a DUI?

First, let’s clarify what it means to be charged with a DUI in Ontario. A DUI stands for “driving under the influence,” which involves operating a motor vehicle when alcohol, cannabis, or drugs (including cannabis OTC drugs, prescription drugs, and illegal substances) or any combination of these, impairs your ability to do so.

Visit this article next to learn more about what DUI lawyers do in Ontario.

Alcohol and Driving in Ontario

Around the world and even within Canada, the amount of alcohol that qualifies as legally impaired varies. For example, in Ontario, the law states you can be charged with a DUI when your blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08 or higher. However, there is also what’s known as a “warn range,” when your blood alcohol concentration is between 0.05 and 0.079—it can still come with DUI charges.

Further, Ontario has zero tolerance in many cases for driving under the influence, including for young, new, and commercial drivers.

As such, according to the laws of the province of Ontario, you cannot drive with any alcohol in your system if you are:

  • Under 21
  • A driver of any age who holds a G1, G2, M1, or M2 licence
  • Operating a vehicle that requires an A-F driver’s licence or Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration (CVOR)
  • Driving a road-building machine

Ontario DUI Statistics

It’s also worth noting how prevalent driving under the influence is in Ontario and across Canada, which is why so many people end up asking what they can do to get DUI charges dismissed.

For example, the DUI rate per 100,000 increased from 7.1 percent to 110.18. This was the first year since 2017 there had been an increase in this number. Most of these DUIs also resulted from men between 18-34.

The province has one of the highest numbers of DUI incidents in the country, along with British Columbia, Alberta, and Quebec.

It’s also worth noting that, according to Public Safety Canada, while DUI rates for alcohol-related incidents have been declining since 2009, rates for driving under the influence of illegal drugs and other substances have been increasing. For example, the number of annual, police-reported, impaired-driving incidents in Canada for drugs in 2009 was 1407. By 2020, this number reached over 7300.

Penalties for Driving Under the Influence in Ontario

Next, let’s discuss some of the potential penalties you could face if you’re charged with a DUI in Ontario to highlight the importance of turning to expert Ontario DUI lawyers to defend you.

As we mentioned before, there is a warn range in Ontario. For example, if your BAC is between 0.05 to 0.079, you could be facing a three-day licence suspension and an Administrative Monetary Penalty (AMP) of $250 for the first offence.

However, the penalties can increase each time you’re found within this range. For example, if it’s your third time, you can face a range of penalties like:

  • A 30-day immediate licence suspension
  • Mandatory enrolment in an education or treatment program
  • Ignition Interlock condition for six months
  • $450 penalty

When your BAC is higher, and you fall into the impairment zone, the penalties increase even more. The first time, for example, you face an immediate roadside 90-day suspension, a seven-day vehicle impoundment, and a $550 penalty. The third time you are found to be driving under the influence, these penalties jump to:

  • An immediate roadside 90-day suspension
  • Seven-day vehicle impoundment
  • Mandatory enrolment in an education or treatment program
  • Ignition Interlock condition for six months
  • $550 penalty

Penalties for Criminal Impaired Driving Charges

In some cases, you could be charged with a criminal impaired driving charge. This falls under the Criminal Code of Canada. These are generally more serious charges, with stiffer fines and possible jail time. The jail time you face depends on how many prior convictions you have had within ten years.

For your first conviction, this could mean a licence suspension of at least one year. Additionally, it can come with mandatory enrolment in an education or treatment program, and being required to use an ignition interlock device for at least a year.

But let’s say this is your third conviction within three years.

Then, you might face the following:

  • A lifetime licence suspension (this may be reduced after ten years if you meet specific criteria)
  • Mandatory enrolment in an education or treatment program
  • Required ignition interlock device for at least six years
  • Undergoing a compulsory medical
  • Evaluation to determine whether you meet the requirements for driving in Ontario

Get DUI Charges Dropped in Ontario

Considering all of these (and other) severe consequences of driving under the influence in Ontario, it’s vital to consult an experienced and knowledgeable Ontario DUI lawyer as soon as possible after being charged with a DUI. An expert lawyer can help you understand your options and defend you if possible to have your charges dropped.

There are various ways a skilled defence team can get your charges dismissed or reduced. This includes challenging the evidence presented against you or arguing that there was a violation of any of your rights. In some cases, they may also be able to negotiate with the prosecution to have your charges dropped or lessened. Your Ontario defence lawyer will know best how to approach your case and what defences might work for you.

If you’re facing serious criminal charges and want to know how to get DUI charges in Ontario dropped, call KIVLaw today. We will review your case and determine the best way to defend you. Our team of experienced Ontario DUI lawyers has an impressive track record of success in Ontario courts. We provide our clients with excellent legal representation and positive outcomes. Contact your criminal law team today to learn more about how we can help you.