The Differences Between Over 80, Impaired Driving Or Refusing A Breathalizer

These offences are related but different. They all involve DUI related charges – driving under the influence. The charge of “Over 80” simply means that you are charged with having .08 m/g of alcohol in 100 m/l of blood in your body while driving, which is a criminal offence in the province of Ontario. The charge of Impaired driving means that you are charged with driving or operating a motor vehicle while your ability to do so is impaired. The impairment can be by drug or alcohol or other manner of impairment. The impairment can also be by legal prescription and/or over the counter medication.

The charge of Refusing a breath sample means that you are charged with refusing to provide a sample of your breath when a valid, legal demand has been made to you by a police officer. Refusals can also relate to failure to comply with a drug evaluation when a valid demand is made. So while these three types of charges are different, they all relate to the idea of impaired driving and driving under the influence, DUI. If convicted, the penalties for these offences are also very similar in that they all result in a mandatory permanent criminal record. On December 18, 2018 Parliament has introduced Bill C-46, new legislation that has increased the mandatory minimum fines depending on Breathalyzer readings – the fines may be slightly different now but the end result, a criminal record, remains unchanged.

DUI related offences are treated very seriously by the Criminal Justice System in Canada. New legislation also allows police officers to request breath tests from drivers without having any of the previously required “RPG” (Reasonable and Probable Grounds). So the police can basically ask you to submit to a breath test without having any justification for their request. As this legislation is 2 days old from the date of writing this article, time will tell how these new criminal laws stand up in court as Constitutional charter challenges are most definitely going to be raised by defence counsel. If you are convicted of a second DUI offence, there is a minimum 30 day jail sentence and 120 days jail sentence for each subsequent conviction.

It is extremely challenging to avoid jail the second time around. If you are in Brampton or the Greater Toronto area and find yourself charged with Over 80, Impaired Driving or Refuse breath sample, feel free to call defence counsel Avi Baratz for a free consultation at 416-937-3777 or email at

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