Criminal Charges (DUI)
Impaired driving is taken very seriously in British Columbia and carries very serious consequences. In BC, DUI charges include alcohol-impaired driving, drug-impaired driving, or a combination of alcohol and drug-impaired driving. You may also be charged with driving with a blood alcohol concentration or a blood drug concentration over the legal limit. If you fail to comply with a demand for a sample, you may be charged with refusal.
The minimum penalties on a first conviction for drinking and driving or drug-impaired driving are as follows:
- Criminal Record;
- One year driving prohibition (no exceptions – they will not let you drive to and from work only);
- Increased Insurance premiums.
Second and third offences can result in much higher fines, longer driving prohibitions, and jail sentences.
If you are convicted of a drinking and/or drug-impaired driving offence in British Columbia you will receive a criminal record, which means your fingerprints and photographs will be retained by the police. A criminal record may affect your employment opportunities and may restrict your ability to travel. A conviction for impaired driving will also have a significant impact on your insurance premiums. It will cause them to increase substantially when you get your licence back. Additionally, the Superintendent of Motor Vehicles may refer you to one or more remedial programs, such as the Responsible Driver Program and/or the Ignition Interlock Program. Remedial program referrals are determined by the Mandatory Criteria Matrix. With few exceptions, referrals to remedial programs are mandatory.
If you have been charged with impaired driving or refusal, do not assume the worst without speaking to an experienced impaired driving lawyer. Do not plead guilty until you have spoken to a lawyer about your case. A guilty plea will result in a number of serious consequences, including financial costs that may be much more than what it would have cost to have a lawyer defend your charges.
In BC, when you are charged with an impaired driving-related offence, you will typically be served with several important documents including:
- Notice of a 24-hour Driving Prohibition;
- Notice of a 90-day Driving Prohibition (ADP);
- Promise to Appear in court.
Keep each of these documents safe and have them available when you call our lawyers.
Every case is different and there are many ways to defend a charge, even if your blood alcohol level readings were above 80 mg%, or your THC readings were above 5 nanograms (ng). Our lawyers are extremely skilled and experienced at using technical defence tactics to defend impaired driving charges. Call us today for a free, confidential initial consultation to discuss your case and see how we can help you.