Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Can You Refuse a Breathalyzer in Ontario?

by lenardjohnson (writer), , April 24, 2017

The smartest move is to cooperate with the officer and submit to one or both tests as requested.

You are not the type who is likely to get behind the wheel after having one too many. Even so, you may find yourself pulled over by an officer and asked to take a breathalyzer test. It pays to know what courses of action are open to you and how your choice will impact your life over the next several years and may lead to the need to seek the services of a Toronto DUI lawyer.

What is a Breathalyzer Test?

A breathalyzer test is a means used by law enforcement to determine the blood alcohol content of someone who appears to be intoxicated. It is one of two tests that may be requested. One can be administered by the roadside and provides an approximate reading of the blood alcohol content.

The breathalyzer test does require a trip to the local police station. Considered more accurate than the roadside testing, the results may confirm what the earlier test indicated or verify that the alcohol level in the bloodstream is below the threshold required by law for a formal charge.

Why Would an Officer Request This Type of Test?

An officer is likely to request this type of test based on observations about the physical movements of the individual or the way that the vehicle appears to weave or sway while in motion. The state of your clothing, the smell of alcohol on your person, or the fact that your speech seems to be slurred are some of the reasons why the officer may suspect you of imbibing a little too much.

These and other activities observed by the officer provide a reasonable cause for stopping the individual, asking a few questions, and requesting to administer the basic roadside test. If the results are so close to the legal range currently found in Canadian law, the officer is likely to transport the individual to the nearest station for a breathalyzer test.

Is Compliance With the Request Mandatory?

The smartest move is to cooperate with the officer and submit to one or both tests as requested. Choosing to refuse will lead to an immediate suspension of your licence that will last at least three days. If you have prior offenses, the loss of your licence may be longer and there may be additional penalties to deal with.

There are provisions for refusing the test due to some type of injury or illness that makes it difficult for you to successfully complete the steps involved with the testing. Any impaired driving lawyer in Toronto understands what exceptions are currently recognized and can defend a client who refuses due to a health condition or an injury.

If you believe that an officer acted without cause and the charge is not valid for some reason, consulting with one of the DUI lawyers in Toronto should be your next step. Even if you did make a mistake and got behind the wheel, the lawyer will be able to help you understand what the court is most likely to order based on the circumstances surrounding the event.

About the Writer

lenardjohnson is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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