What Happens If I Don’t Provide a Breath Sample?

What Happens If I Don't Provide a Breath Sample

In Canada, police have the right to stop motorists and ask them if they have alcohol or drugs.Some Canadians don’t know this and, when asked to give a breath sample, refuse to provide a one.

Refusing to give a breath sample can lead to problems. This article will discuss what consequences can result if a person refuses to provide a breath sample to police.

Can I Refuse to Give a Breath Sample?

Yes, you can refuse to provide a breath sample. However, you will be charged with a criminal offence. For refusing to give a breath sample, you will be charged with failure or refusal to comply with demand under section 320.15 of the Canadian Criminal Code.  This states, “Everyone commits an offence who, knowing that a demand has been made, fails or refuses to comply, without reasonable excuse, with a demand made under section 320.27 or 320.28.”

What are the Penalties for Refusing to Provide a Breath Sample?

Penalties for refusing to provide a breath sample are similar to those applied if you had taken the breath test and failed it as a first-time offender.

There are two types of penalties as laid out by the Criminal Code and the Highway Traffic Act:

  1. Criminal penalties:
    1. A fine of $2000 for a first-time offender
    2. A minimum of 30 days in prison for a second offence
    3. A minimum of 120 days in jail for a third offence
    • A jail term can be up to 10 years for repeat offenders, depending on the nature of the offence.
  2. Penalties Covered by the Highway Traffic Act
    1. A 90-day automatic licence suspension
    2. A $550 administrative penalty
    3. A $275 impoundment of your vehicle for seven days
    • If it is your second or subsequent offence within ten years, you will be required to attend a mandatory education or treatment program.
    • If it is your third or subsequent offence within ten years, you will also be required to have an ignition interlock device for at least six months.

Am I Allowed to Contact a Lawyer When Police Ask for a Breath Sample?

If a police officer stops your car and asks you to do a roadside breath test, you will not be allowed to talk to a lawyer. Police can demand that you go with them to the police station to undergo a breathalyzer test, which is more reliable than a roadside breath test. In that case, you have the right to talk to a lawyer before taking the breathalyzer test. You have the right to remain silent even if police ask you questions, and you have the right to talk to a lawyer in private.

“A DUI can significantly affect your career and reputation. If you are facing this problem,I can help you. I have successfully defended many clients who faced DUI charges.I will go through all evidence presented and build the best possible defence for you.”

Robert W.H. Kivlichan

Even if you have been charged with a refusal offence, don’t worry.You may still have a valid and robustdefence.We will go over the arrest information and develop the best defence strategy for why you did not take and refused to take the breath test.


“Robert Kivlichan and his team took care of my DUI and kept costs down. I would highly recommend!”

J. S. – Ontario


Will a DUI appear in a background check in Canada?

If you are convicted of a DUI, it will appear when employers, insurance companies, and immigration authorities conduct a background check on you.

How long will a DUI be reflected on my record in Canada?

If you do not get a pardon, the DUI will remain forever on your record in Canada. Obtaining a pardon is the only way you can remove the DUI charges. However, even if you get a pardon, authorities can still find the criminal record when they run a background check.

Will a DUI prevent me from getting employed?

There are no Canadian laws that will prevent a person with a DUI on their record from getting a job. However, some employers are less likely to employ an individual who has a criminal record. This is especially true for jobs that require a clean driving record. In the same way, many government jobs and careers in the field of education require new hires to pass a background check before starting work. Since a DUI is a criminal offence, this will appear on these background checks and may affect your chances of getting hired.