An arrest for driving under the influence is not something you should take lightly. After your arrest, it pays to know what could happen next. By having a better idea of how to conduct yourself and how the case will proceed, there is a better chance of dealing with the situation effectively. Here are some basics that you need to know.
Your Blood Alcohol Level is Over the Legal Limit
Current laws set 0.08 as the legal limit for alcohol in the blood, assuming you have a full G licence. Ontario also has what is known as a warn range. That means if your blood alcohol content is between 0.05 and 0.08, you are subject to provincial administrative penalties rather than an arrest for driving under the influence. The fact that you were arrested indicates the roadside breath test confirmed your level was over the legal limit.
Even if you believe the charge is unfounded, it pays to be cooperative during the early stages. If the officer requests that you go to the nearest station for further testing, don't argue. Remain calm and proceed to the station. Once there, you can contact a drinking and driving lawyer in Toronto before you make any statement or submit to the next round of testing.
There is No One Set of Penalties That Applies to Everyone
If someone has told you that every person arrested for drunk driving receives the same penalty, they are wrong. Many factors influence what happens next. If you are over the age of 19 and this is your first arrest, the charges and associated fines will be relatively minor compared to those who have been convicted in the past.
The amount of alcohol in your blood will also affect the charges that are leveled against you. Barely over the limit is considered less of a threat to society than having two or three times the legal limit. Expect the charges to be more severe if you have high levels of alcohol in your blood.
People who are facing a second or third arrest and probable conviction for driving under the influence could lose their driving privileges for a longer period of time. The court may also order you to attend classes before your licence is restored. There will be higher fines and possibly the need to install an interlocking device on your vehicle ignition.
Your Future is in the Balance
Drunk driving is not a misdemeanor. You will have a criminal record after your conviction. From that day forward, you will find that purchasing auto insurance is more expensive and possibly more difficult. The record could prevent you from securing certain types of employment. Since many lenders conduct criminal background checks before approving loans, some of them will decline your applications. That can make purchasing a home or buying a new car more problematic.
Don't treat an arrest for driving under the influence lightly. Contact a Toronto DUI lawyer as soon as you reach the police station. Together, the two of you can determine what course of action would protect your rights and pave the way for the best possible outcome.