How do I defend my impaired driving charge?
How does a lawyer defend an impaired driving, DUI, or over 80 charge?
Please don't assume that defending an impaired driving charge is impossible. Although the police officer who charged you with impaired driving may have been courteous and thorough, he or she may have made some mistakes that can be discovered by a very experienced impaired driving defence lawyer.
Impaired driving is considered a serious criminal offence in Ontario. Police generally use good quality equipment and procedures in investigation of impaired driving charges. However, good equipment is not infallible in the prosecution of impaired driving charges. If police don't follow exact protocol and standards on the ASD or the Intoxilyzer, then you may be able to raise a real doubt that the breath tests were not scientifically reliable.
Unfortunately most impaired driving lawyers never travel beyond conventional defences. A successful impaired driving defence often involves raising unconventional issues. This site encourages defence lawyers to be more adventurous and hopefully raises the bar for impaired driving defence while at the same time encouraging respect for scientific method in forensic science.
An impaired driving lawyer with a great deal of experience in raising Charter of Rights defences can carefully analyze the disclosure and identify police errors which may result in exclusion of evidence of impaired driving or over 80, thus resulting in an acquittal. A lawyer who challenges the conventional wisdom of impaired driving science can cross-examine the qualified technician or Crown forensic scientist to expose breaches of protocol or malfunction.
The starting point for any impaired driving defence is a careful review of everything you recall about your interaction with the police using a resource such as the Canadian Impaired Driving Checkist.