The police have the ability to make traffic stops for a number of reasons. If you are pulled over and an officer reasonably suspects that you have alcohol in your body, they can demand that you provide a breath sample into a roadside approved screening device (ASD). The roadside devices do not provide the officer with blood/alcohol levels, but instead reports with a pass, a warn, or a fail. If the device records a “warn”, your licence can be suspended for 24 hours by police.
You often do not have a chance to call a lawyer at this point in the investigation. Despite that, you can be charged with refusing to provide a breath sample if you refuse to participate with the ASD.
If you participate with the ASD and the device registers a “fail”, the police now have the grounds to demand that you provide a breath sample for analysis to determine if you have been operating a motor vehicle with a blood/alcohol content over the legal limit.
Once you arrive at the police station, you will be asked to provide two breath samples approximately 15 minutes apart. Your breath samples will be recorded and used as evidence against you. If you refuse to provide the samples, you may be charged with refusing to provide a breath sample. Other sections of the Criminal Code allow the judge to draw a negative inference from the fact that you refused, possibly making your legal situation worse.
If you provide the breath samples when the police demand them, you may still have a legal defence, even if you fail the test. A defence lawyer can look at the particulars of your case to determine what defences you have. However, if you refuse to provide a breath sample, your defences are limited.
If you’ve been charged with impaired driving, driving with blood/alcohol over 0.08, refusing to provide a breath sample, or any other offence, contact a lawyer a Tom Rees and Company.
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*Note: This page is for general information only. It is not legal advice. You should speak to a lawyer directly for legal advice. Call Winnipeg law firm Tom Rees & Company at (204) 415-5544, or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.