Driving offences

Driving offences are very common. It is a misconception that dealing with such offences is a simple matter. Some driving offences are considered criminal offences and can result in jail time and a criminal record that can permanently tarnish a reputation

There are three main Driving Offences in Canada

  1. “Driving while impaired” or “having care and control of a motor vehicle while impaired” (by alcohol or a drug)
  2. “Driving with over 80 mg of alcohol in a 100 ml of blood” or “having care and control of a motor vehicle with over 80 mg of alcohol in a 100 ml of blood”
  3. Refusal to provide a breath sample to a peace officer

“Driving while impaired” or “having care and control of a motor vehicle while impaired” (by alcohol or a drug), are rather self-explanatory. It is a criminal offence to drive a motor vehicle while your faculties are impaired, regardless of the quantity of inebriating substance (alcohol or a drug) you consumed.

“Driving with over 80 mg of alcohol in a 100 ml of blood” or “having care and control of a motor vehicle with over 80 mg of alcohol in a 100 ml” of blood again is self-explanatory. It is a criminal offence to drive a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level over the legal limit. What most people do not realize is that you can be found guilty regardless of how your ability to drive was affected.

Refusal to provide a breath sample to a peace officer is more complicated. Everyone has a legal obligation to provide samples of their breath when legally requested to do so unless they have a “reasonable excuse” to refuse. The first step in defending a charge of refusing to provide a breath sample is to evaluate whether the order to provide the breath sample was legally valid. If the demand was invalid, then it is not an offence to have refused to comply. Defence counsel must also evaluate whether there was a reasonable excuse for the failure or refusal to provide a breath sample. Not only must the refusal be final and unequivocal, the driver must have also been give a reasonable opportunity to provide the requested samples.

“Care and control”:

It is possible to be charged with a “drinking and driving” offence even though you weren’t driving. By law, an individual can be considered to be in “care and control” of a vehicle if they “use” the car or its fittings, such that a dangerous situation has been created. This type of offence is common where a person has decided to “sleep it off” in their car after heavy drinking or consumption. These cases can be defended by assessing the danger that the person represented in relation to the car. The location of the keys relative to the vehicle, the position of the person in the vehicle, and the person’s plans of alternate methods of transportation are all relevant considerations is assessing the care and control.

Surprising to most people is that it that you can be charged with a “Care and Control” offence even though you weren’t driving. By law, an individual can be considered to be in “care and control” of a vehicle if they “use” the car or its fittings, such that a dangerous situation has been created. This type of offence is common where a person has decided to “sleep it off” in their car after heavy drinking or consumption.These cases can be defended by assessing the danger that the person represented in relation to the car. The location of the keys relative to the vehicle, the position of the person in the vehicle, and the person’s plans of alternate methods of transportation are all relevant considerations is assessing the care and control.


Each of these offences are prosecuted and defended in different ways, but they all carry mandatory minimum sentences:

  • For a first offence, a minimum $1000 fine and a 12-month driving prohibition.
  • For a second offence, a minimum 30 days in jail and a 2-year driving prohibition.
  • For any subsequent offence, a minimum 120 days in jail and a 3-year driving prohibition.

Additionally, if convicted of one of these offences, you will get a criminal record. A criminal record could result in restrictions on travel and could interfere with job prospects. You will have to complete a special course from the SAAQ in order to have your license reinstated, and your insurance rates, (once you are able to resume driving), will most likely be substantially increased.

The potential penalties are even greater when the offence results in someone being injured or killed.

In light of the significant consequences of being found guilty of one of these offences, it is important to have a lawyer experienced with defending driving offences. Steven Slimovitch will review your case thoroughly and assess your possible defense options. 

Accumulation of Demerit Points

Another area where Steve Slimovitch can assist is when an individual is facing a driving license suspension because of the accumulation of demerit points. Depending on the category of license, the number of demerit points that can be accumulated before losing one’s license differs, from as little as 4 points for a “new” driver to 15 points in the case of a “complete” license. 

There are many strategies that can be employed to defend against the potential loss of license from the accumulation of demerit points. An experienced lawyer like Steven Slimovitch is often able to negotiate with the prosecutor to avoid such negative outcomes.


What Steven Slimovitch Can Offer You

When you or someone you know has been charged with a driving offence, it is important to retain the services of an experienced criminal defence lawyer as soon as possible. Steven Slimovitch is a highly skilled and experienced criminal defence lawyer with a very impressive track record in this area. He has defended countless people accused of driving offences and has successfully supported them throughout the legal process and enabled them to get their lives back on track.