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Novice Driver - BAC Above Zero
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:31 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:39 pm
Posts: 3
Hi, I hope this is in the correct section (officer told me it was 0 points).

Back-story: I am a 25yr old male with my G2. I simply do not have time to get my G - I work full time and attend college. I had been at a friends house in the country (a farmhouse) for a birthday party. I am responsible and nobody will ever get me to start my car if I've been drinking, so as always I came prepared to stay the night. I had slept over 8 hours before leaving at 11:30 in the morning. I felt fine and was not impaired at all at this point.

I was driving home on a Sunday (approx 11:45am), came up to an officer stopping every car (not a RIDE program) on an obscure backroad. Asked for my license, then asked if I had anything to drink today, I said no. He asked where I was coming from, I stated a friends house. He then asked when my last drink was, I stated 12+ hours ago. At this point he said I am allowed zero BAC and should pull over as he was going to breathalyze me.

I blew something like 0.021. I am not certain of the actual number, at this point he was fairly threatening that if it showed anything but zero I would be screwed, so I can't recall it. I was literally shaking during this time. I know it was far under the limit for G-class drivers.

He then wrote me a ticket and said "Your license is suspended for 24 hours, you are free to go. This is not a criminal offense nor will it incur any demerit points. If you do not have someone that can pick up your car shortly, it will be towed at your expense". contrary to HTA 44.1 (3) His demeanor changed and he acted friendly, playing off the ticket as being very minor... he also asked what I did for a living and I explained "I work for ______ full time and attend college" HThere was no other discussion.

However bad the situation, I was quite relieved to hear that and made quick work of finding a friend that could drive my car. I can't afford $300+ for towing.

I waited approx. 45 mins for my friends - while waiting the officer asked what I had been drinking. I stated "beer" and did not continue the conversation. My friends retrieved my car and the situation ended.

- The officer did not take my license. He just told me I couldn't drive for 24 hours. Is this normal?
- He never stated any other repurcussions. I was not told (as I understand the HTA) that if guilty I lose my license an additional 30 days. I am also unclear whether I have to 'start over again' with a G1...?
- I have no record of my BAC. I only blew once, and he didn't provide any record of it, so I can't even remember the exact number.


At this point I am fairly sure I have to fight it... I'm just looking for some guidance or pointers to get me going in the right direction. If I lose my license or insurance skyrockets, I can't get to work or college... my life is essentially ruined.


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Re: Novice Driver - BAC Above Zero
PostPosted: Tue Mar 12, 2013 6:47 am 
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Joined: Tue Apr 22, 2008 7:21 am
Posts: 2933
Location: In YOUR rearview mirror!
- 24hr licence suspension is normal for that scenario
- there is no "print out" of a BAC from a roadside test and you do only blow once
- being below a "G" limit as you mention means nothing, what is relevant is the BAC for the particular class of licence you hold at the time of the stop

**might want to check with MTO, some licences remain suspended, until a reinstatement fee is paid **
http://www.ontario.ca/driving-and-roads ... suspension

_________________
Above is merely a suggestion/thought and in no way constitutes legal advice or views of my employer. www.OHTA.ca


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Re: Novice Driver - BAC Above Zero
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:54 am 
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Joined: Wed Mar 13, 2013 7:33 am
Posts: 35
There will be no ministry record in regards to the 24 hour suspension in your case. As for the repercussions for the ticket, it's not the duty of the officer to tell you what happens upon conviction. The 30 day licence suspension is done my the ministry not the police. It would be like someone saying the police didn't tell me my insurance would go up when I was convicted of the offence.

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How is it everyone else's fault YOU comitted an offence?


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Re: Novice Driver - BAC Above Zero
PostPosted: Wed Mar 13, 2013 5:21 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2012 1:44 am
Posts: 1064
bacNotZero wrote:
- He never stated any other repurcussions. I was not told (as I understand the HTA) that if guilty I lose my license an additional 30 days. I am also unclear whether I have to 'start over again' with a G1...?


If a novice driver holder (G1/G2/M1/M2) is caught with alcohol in their blood, the driver will receive the following penalties:

- An immediate 24-hour roadside administrative driver's licence suspension (increased from 12 hours);
- Upon conviction, will be subject to a fine from $60 to $500;
- Upon conviction, will receive a suspension period as per the proposed GLS escalating sanctions scheme up to, and including, cancellation of the novice licence and a return to the start of GLS.

The fine amount will be up to the courts to decide, but will be anywhere form the minimum amount of $60 to the maximum $500.

Your suspension depends on your driving record. You are subject to Novice Driver Escalating Sanction. Violating any of the graduated licensing conditions will land you a 30 day suspension (eg. G2 driver with any alcohol in their system). I'm assuming this has been your first 30 day suspension. The second violation, either by violating a license condition or receiving a conviction of a charge resulting in 4 or more demerit points (eg. Exceeding the speed limit by 30) will land you a 90 day suspension. The third violation will result in having your license cancelled altogether.

bacNotZero wrote:
- I have no record of my BAC. I only blew once, and he didn't provide any record of it, so I can't even remember the exact number.


Everything will be listed in the officers notes. You are free to request disclosure and read them yourself should you be proactive and request them in a timely manner. This is something you don't wait to mention on the date of your trial


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Re: Novice Driver - BAC Above Zero
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 9:39 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:39 pm
Posts: 3
First, thank you all for your replies. Yes, this is my first infraction - I've never had a ticket of any kind before.

I am opting to go to trial and will certainly request disclosure. As I understand it the goal is not to prove my own innocence, but to prove that the officer cannot prove I am guilty. Correct?


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Re: Novice Driver - BAC Above Zero
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 10:54 am 
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Joined: Tue Feb 01, 2011 9:49 pm
Posts: 2110
Location: Ontario
The Crown has to prove you’re guilty beyond a reasonable whereas your goal will be to raise that reasonable doubt.

Typically for cases such as yours the two main points I see argued are whether the officer had grounds to make a demand for your breath and whether the device was calibrated and working correctly and an accurate reading was obtained.

Arguing the officer didn’t have grounds to ask for a sample of your breath may be difficult with your admission of alcohol consumption. Your reading (if you remember it correctly) is still extremely high considering you hadn’t been drinking in several hours. Quite likely the officer had other indicators such as an odour of an alcoholic beverage on your breath that would also be sufficient for a demand.

The officer’s notes should also detail what type of device was used to obtain your reading, its serial number and date of last calibration. If the calibration date wasn’t recorded, you might be able to raise an argument about the accuracy of the reading.

There is a fair bit of case law surrounding impaired driving, which has many similar facts in issue to your matter. It may be worth considering professional representation since they’d be much more familiar with the law, the operation of roadside screening devices, etc.


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Re: Novice Driver - BAC Above Zero
PostPosted: Thu Mar 14, 2013 12:04 pm 
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Joined: Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:39 pm
Posts: 3
Thanks again.

I have already determined the exact device used and I've found manuals for many provinces (except Ontario) stating how it is to be used. Once I find the manual for Ontario police I will know better, but according to what I've read he missed several of the generic steps (such as asking whether mouth wash was used, or determining if I had vomited or burped within 15 minutes of the test). I can prove I was driving for only 7 minutes before being pulled over, and he tested me immediately. Has this ever been argued?

Apart from that, there seems to be the standard points you've mentioned. I also agree my reading was extremely high - from what I've calculated, to get anywhere near this reading, I would have had a peak over 0.2 BAC. It just doesn't fit the circumstances.

I'm taking time off work shortly to contact some legal advice.


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