The police have the legal right to stop your vehicle at any time for the purpose of checking whether you have consumed alcohol or drugs, whether you have a valid driver’s license and vehicle registration and whether the vehicle is mechanically fit to be driven. The police do not have to suspect that you are impaired before they stop the vehicle because they have the legal right to conduct random spot checks.
What to do when police stopped your vehicle
After the police have asked you to pull over at a RIDE (Reduce Impaired Driving Everywhere) program checkpoint, they will ask you a number of questions on whether you have consumed alcohol or drugs. You do not have to answer their questions but it would be smarter to cooperate. If you refuse to respond to their questions, it may lead them to suspect that you are impaired and demand that you take the following tests:
- Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST)
- Roadside breath screening test or
- Oral fluid sample
It is considered a criminal offense to refuse the tests. You are not allowed to consult a lawyer before agreeing to the tests. You will only need a criminal defence lawyer after you have been charged with a criminal offense. By this time, you have to call a lawyer as soon as possible.
You can be charged under the Criminal Code if you fail the SFST, breath test, or oral fluid test. You may be arrested and taken to the police station for further testing. However, you will be allowed to consult the lawyer before taking further tests and providing samples at the police station.
Aside from being charged with a criminal impaired driving offense, you can also be charged with dangerous driving, criminal negligence, and exceeding the legal blood alcohol, and blood drug concentration limits.
It is important to call Donich Law immediately after you have been charged because the possible punishments for impaired driving will be based on evidence and the particular circumstances of the situation. The criminal defence lawyer will deploy all available resources quickly to save on time, stress, and money.