Refusing a Breathalyzer: Impaired Driving Lawyers, Edmonton

Learn what will happen after you've refused a breathalyzer test from some of the most experienced impaired driving lawyers Edmonton offers.

Breath testing can take one of two forms: roadside testing and evidentiary testing.

Roadside testing is used by the police when there are insufficient signs or indicia of impairment in the ability to drive to warrant an arrest. The driver is NOT entitled to speak with a lawyer at this stage. If the driver provides a sample of breath, it will analyze as either a ‘Pass’, which has no consequences, a ‘Warn’, which has no criminal consequences but consequences under provincial legislation, or a ‘Fail’, which allows the police to continue their investigation and obtain further breath samples at the police station after the driver has had a chance to call a lawyer. These further breath samples are designed to determine the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) or blood alcohol level of suspected drunk drivers.

A failure or refusal to blow at the roadside, or at the police station, is a criminal offence and has the same consequences as a failed breath test or being provably impaired. If a demand is made for you to give a sample of your breath, COMPLY.

If you refuse a breath test, in additional to the refusal charge, you could still be charged with driving under the influence (DUI) or while impaired. If this happens, you will need the assistance of an experienced DUI lawyer. Experienced lawyers are the only ones who can unravel the complicated nature of such a case. Furthermore, there are some facts about refusing a breathalyzer screening that you should know.

Penalties for Refusing Roadside Testing or Evidentiary Testing

Once again, if you fail to comply with breath testing, you will be charged with a criminal offence and subject to the same penalties as DUI. These penalties can include:

  • A permanent criminal record

  • Fines of at least $2,000

  • License suspension of at least one year

  • Conditional probation

  • Enrollment in a program for license reinstatement

  • Possible jail time of at least 30 days on a second offence and at least four months on a third or higher offence

  • High risk insurance rates for a three to five-year period

  • Permanent license revocation in extreme cases involving multiple related prior convictions

The type and severity of your penalties will depend on your past record and the experience of your lawyer. Thus, the more DUI offences you’ve committed and the less experienced your lawyer, the worse the penalty. Of course, one of the best impaired driving lawyers Edmonton has to offer, like those at our firm, will fight to ensure you receive the lowest sentence possible.

How an Experienced DUI Lawyer Can Help

No matter the crime you’re accused of, your rights as a resident of Canada are always protected. And these rights are best defended by an experienced lawyer. An experienced impaired driving lawyer will be well-versed on DUI laws and court proceedings and be the most capable of providing a prompt, organized, and thorough defence. He/she will know how to approach your case and find difficulties with the police investigation that could result in an acquittal or the charges being withdrawn. Also, lawyers at Haryett & Company may even be able to establish that your refusal was warranted in the circumstances.

They will also ensure that you’re treated fairly by law enforcement, including investigating if proper procedures were followed during the investigation. If any violations are found, the DUI and/or refusal charges may be withdrawn or reduced. Although these sorts of cases can be complicated, they’re more likely to have favorable outcomes with an experienced defence team at the helm. A team like Haryett & Company will leave no stone unturned and, where possible, will work to establish that your refusal was backed by sufficient reason.

Have you received an impaired driving charge? Contact our office today: (780) 426-5317.

Shannon Routley