Driving under the influence of alcohol or any other toxic substance can be dangerous to both the driver and other individuals alike. The constituents in these items can affect an individual’s mind and body, making it nearly or entirely impossible to perform specific tasks, especially those that require physical and mental skills. Drunk drivers not only put their lives at risk but also those of other drivers and pedestrians. Driving under the influence is mostly responsible for several vehicle accidents worldwide. It is worth noting that 20% of fatal road crashes link to alcoholism in highly-developed countries directly, while low- and mid-income earning nations have higher rates of up to 69%. For this reason, drunk driving is a criminal offense in various parts of the world. Here are some prohibited levels for different toxic substances:
Prohibited Alcohol Intake
As a driver, it is essential to know the prohibited level for the amount of alcohol found in one’s bloodstream. An individual should not have a blood-alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.8 grams or more per deciliter of blood.
Prohibited Drug Intake
Cannabis contains THC – a primary psychoactive component that could be a stimulant, depressant, or hallucinogen, depending on the individual. Drivers with concentration levels ranging from 2 nanograms to 5 nanograms (ng) of THC per milliliter (ml) of blood may receive a slap on the wrist as it is not a serious offense. However, anything above that will call for heavy sanctions.
When combining both substances, a driver should not have 50 mg of alcohol and 2.5 ng of THC or more in the bloodstream while operating a vehicle. Other drugs include phencyclidine (PCP), lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), cocaine, ketamine, methamphetamine, psilocin (magic mushrooms), and psilocybin. These substances are harmful and can impair a driver’s judgment.
Since DUI is an offense as it poses a threat to public safety, fines can range from $1,000 to ten years imprisonment, depending on the severity of the infraction.
Canada DUI Charges
In Canada, drivers caught with a BAC above 80 mg per 100 ml of blood within two hours of driving will receive mandatory minimum penalties comprising a $1,000 fine, 30 days imprisonment, and 120 days imprisonment at the first, second, and third offense, respectively. The mandatory maximum penalty is ten years of imprisonment. The same thing applies to individuals with at least 5ng of THC or 5mg of other drugs discussed above within two hours of driving, or those with a combination of alcohol and THC.
Drivers who refuse to comply with a DUI test will get a minimum fine of $2,000, while those charged with drug-impaired driving leading to bodily harm get a summary conviction of two years imprisonment (maximum) or an indictment of 14 years imprisonment (max). Whereby there is death, the driver will receive maximum life imprisonment.
The mandatory minimum fine for a first offense whereby the driver’s BAC falls between 80mg and 119mg is $1,000. First offense and a BAC ranging from 120mg to 159mg will attract a fine of $1,500. If the first offense is linked with a BAC test of 160mg or more, the individual will receive a $2,000 mandatory penalty.
Time to See a DUI Lawyer
No one wants to spend several years behind bars away from those who matter the most. However, if there is a severe penalty on such an individual, things can go south pretty quickly. Serving time in jail can cause damage to an individual’s physical, mental, and social wellbeing. Besides, lawsuits can leave most people penniless. For this reason, one cannot undermine the role of a DUI lawyer.
It is worth noting that the authorities in charge of DUI cases will give the offender the option to contact an attorney, especially one specializing in such a field. A reputable lawyer such as Jeff Mass, may persuade the court to permit the driver to register under specific programs that allow the installation of alcohol screening devices in vehicles. This option enables people to steer clear of substance abuse while driving. However, it is time-restricted.
DUI lawyers help penalized drivers stay away from criminal records by pleading for a lesser non-criminal charge. However, there is a need to provide substantial evidence supporting specific technicalities or constitutions in the law. Personallyhandling a DUI charge can be highly detrimental to the success of one walking away freely. Most likely, the results are devastating. Hence, it is essential to have an attorney on standby.
Defending a DUI Case in Court
Defending and winning a DUI case in a courthouse is no walk in the park, especially if the individual involved is “actually” caught driving under the influence of toxic substances based on the conditions specified above. Such a person has to present the judge with substantial technical arguments (scientific evidence, interpretation and application of case law, and other technicalities) surrounding the case; this includes conducting legal research.
An offender must not toy with a DUI charge, even for a first-time conviction, as consequences could be severe and even life-changing. A criminal record based on this conviction can mar one’s chances to secure a lucrative job or even travel to specific countries. In actuality, offenders in Canada who are not citizens may have their immigration status revoked before being deported and banned from entering the country. For these reasons and many more, the services of a DUI lawyer are treasured. A reputable attorney will save their clients thousands of dollars while defending their rights.
How Much Do DUI Lawyers Charge in Canada?
Several factors come into play when hiring a DUI lawyer in Canada, regardless of the region involved. Clients may want to consider:
- The trial duration, which on average, range from one to two days
- The timeframe required by the DUI attorney to defend the case
- The disclosure needed for the case, including expert reports and the number of witnesses
- The plausible involvement of other experts in the investigation
- Number and type of motions to expect
It is worth noting that hiring a reputable DUI lawyer with a proven track record is not cheap. Expect to pay anywhere between $700 to $1,500 when seeking a plea deal. Otherwise, the cost may range from $1,500 to $4,000 if a trial is in sight. However, doing so will increase an individual’s chances of defending or winning a case. Whatever the situation is, no doubt, hiring a DUI attorney reduces the severity of a DUI charge.