Drinking and Driving Offenses

My essay is on "Drinking and Driving Offences". In my essa y I will tell you the
various kinds of drinking and driving offences, the penalties, and the defences
you can make if you are caught drinking and drivi ng.

Let me tell you about the different offences. There are si x offences in
drinking and driving. They are "driving while impaired", "Havi ng care and
control of a vehicle while impaired", "Driving while exceeding 80 m.g.", "Having
care and control of a vehicle while exceeding 80 m.g.", "R efusing to give a
breath sample", and "refusing to submit to a roadside sc reen test.

These are all Criminal Code Offences.

Now lets talk about the penalties of drinking and driving. The sentence for
"refusing to give a breath sample" is usually higher than either of the
"exceeding 80 m.g." offences. Consequently it is us ually easier in the long run
for you to give a breath sample if asked. If, for example you are convicted of
"Refusing ato give a breath sample" f or the first time, but was earlier
convicted of "Driving while impaired", your conviction for "Refusing" will count
as a second conviction, not a first, and will receive the stiffer penalty for
second offences.

For the first offence here is the penalty and the defences you can make. Driving
a vehicle while your ability to drive is impaired by alcohol or drugs is one of
the offences. Evidence of your condition can be used to convict you. This can
include evidence of your general conduct , speech, ability to walk a straight
line or pick up objects. The penalty o f the first offences is a fine of $50.00
to $2000.00 and/or imprisonment of up to six months, and automatic suspension of
licence for 3 months. The second offence penalty is imprisonment for 14 days to
1 year and automati c suspen-sion of licence for 6 months. The third offence
penalty is impris onment for 3 months to 2 years (or more) and automatic
suspension of lice nce for six months. These penalties are the same for the
following offenc es.

"Having Care and Control of a Motor Vehicle while Impaired" is another offence.
Having care and control of a vehicle does not require that you are driving it.
Occupying the driver's seat, even if you did not have the keys, is sufficient.
Walking towards the car with the keys could be suffi-cient. Some defences are
you were not impaired, or you did not hav e care and control because you were
not in the driver's seat, did not have th e keys, etc. It is not a defence that
you registered below 80 m.g. on the breath-ayzer test. Having care and control
depends on all circumstances.

"Driving While Exceeding 80 m.g. is the next offence. Driving a vehicle, having
consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the propo rtion of alcohol in your
blood exceeds 80 miligrams of alcohol in 100 mi lilitres of blood. Some defences
are the test was administered improperly, or the breathalyzer machine was not
functioning properly.

"Having Care and control of a Motor Vehicle while Exceedin g 80 m.g." is the
next offence I will talk about. This offence means having care and control of a
vehicle whether it is in motion or not, having consum ed alcohol in such a
quantity that the proportion of alcohol in your blood ex ceeds 80 miligrams of
alcohol in 100 mililitres of blood. The defences are the test was administered
improperly, or the breathalyzer machine was not f unctioning properly. To defend
against breathalyzer evidence you must unders tand how the test should be
administered. The proper procedure for a breat halyzer test is as follows.
Warming up the machine until the thermometer registers 50 degrees centigrade.
This should take at least 10 minutes. The machine should then be turned to zero
(by using the "adjust zero control") and a comparison ampoulel (of normal air)
inserted. if the metre remains at zero, the test can proceed. An ampoule with a
standard solution is then inserted. If the metre reads high or low by more than .
02% on two successive tests, the machine should not be used. If the trial is
valid, the machin e should be flushed with room air and the pointer set at start.
You will t hen be asked to provide two breath samples, about fifteen minutes
apart. Normally they will take the result of the lowest result and use it as
evide nce against you.

"Refusing to Give a Breath Sample" means refusing without a reasonable excuse to
give a sample or refusing without a reasonabl e