Home > Services

Failure or Refusal to Provide a Breath Sample

Navigating DUI Charges: Understanding the Consequences of Refusing a Breathalyzer Test

Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test is a crucial choice that can have serious consequences for those accused of DUI and impaired driving.

While some people may feel they have the right to refuse a breathalyzer test when they are stopped by law enforcement, it is important to understand the consequences of doing so. Section 320.15 of the Criminal Code of Canada states that a driver may face charges for refusing a breathalyzer test if they decline to give a sample of their breath when asked by a police officer.

Refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test may seem like a good idea to some drivers, but in practice, it rarely helps. Compliance is required when requesting a breathalyzer test from a driver under legal authority.

Our group of DUI attorneys focuses on offering strong defense and counsel to clients who refuse to submit to breathalyzer tests. We are available to help you through this intricate legal process. 

Call 9057983776 to talk with one of our attorneys and start the conversation about your case.

Reasons to Accept a Breathalyzer Test Without Refusing It

It's usually preferable to give a sample of your breath while deciding whether or not to deny a breathalyzer because:

The defense will focus on several important points when a motorist declines to take the breathalyzer test:

  • Did the accused have a valid excuse for declining?
  • Were the cops justified in requesting a breathalyzer test?
  • Did the accused refuse to give the police a breathalyzer test without a valid reason?
  • Did the accused understand the full ramifications of declining the test?

Penalties for Refusing the Breathalyzer Test

In Ontario, refusing to take a breathalyzer test carries the same penalty as failing it.

Drivers who are found guilty of or enter a guilty plea to resisting a breathalyzer test may be subject to the following penalties:

Criminal Record: Under Canadian law, anyone found guilty of rejecting a breathalyzer test has a lasting criminal record. Travel, employment opportunities, immigration status, educational goals, and other things may be negatively impacted by this record.

  • Penalties: Upon conviction, first-time offenders usually face fines of about $1000, though they may be subject to harsher penalties depending on the specifics of their case.

  • License Suspensions: Drivers convicted of their first DUI offense have their licenses suspended for a year. Longer suspensions are imposed for subsequent convictions: three years for a second offense and a lifetime ban with the possibility of readmission after ten years for a third. Fourth-time offenders are prohibited from driving for life without the chance of being allowed to reapply.

  • Mandatory Alcohol Testing: If found guilty of crimes involving alcohol or drugs, the court will order the treatment of substance misuse.

  • Back on Track Program Requirement: In accordance with the Highway Traffic Act, anyone convicted of driving while intoxicated or with two or more administrative suspensions must finish Ontario's Back on Track program in order to have their licenses renewed. Participants in this program must pay an approximate $894 cost.

  • Impact on Insurance: Drivers who are found guilty of denying a breathalyzer test may anticipate a considerable spike in their insurance costs. Insurance companies view drivers with a history of intoxication as greater accident risks.

In Ontario, refusing to take a breathalyzer test carries harsh consequences that can have a significant influence on personal, family, and work life.


Fighting Charges of Refusing Breathalyzer Tests

It happens sometimes that police make mistakes, and being charged does not mean that you are guilty. It is possible to contest charges for refusing to submit to a breathalyzer test since there are other options besides a guilty finding and license suspension.

Even though the charge seems simple—either the motorist gave a sample of their breath or not—there are complicated legal requirements to prove guilt. For example:

  • Were the police legally entitled to request the breathalyzer test?
  • Did the police provide a clear explanation of the driver's responsibilities?
  • Did the driver understand what the police had told him?
  • Did the accused get a chance to speak with an attorney?
  • Did the accused person's rights get in the way of the interaction with the police?

It is the duty of the police to guarantee that drivers:

  • Recognize the reason behind the breath sample request.

  • Are aware that noncompliance has legal repercussions.

  • Get the right instructions for giving the sample of your breath.

  • Are afforded a rational chance to conform.

But these processes are frequently done incorrectly. It may be used as a defense against the charge if the accused did not completely understand the circumstances, or if the police did not give the accused a sufficient explanation or a fair chance to submit the breath sample.

It is your right to bring your case before a court, who will then fairly consider the evidence and render a ruling.

Definition of Refuse Breathalyzer Test

A police officer may request breath samples for alcohol concentration testing if they have a good basis to believe that someone operating a motor vehicle has driven while intoxicated within the preceding three hours. Should you refuse to comply with this demand without a valid reason, you would be in violation of section 320.15.1 of the Criminal Code of Canada.

When can the police demand a Breathalyzer Test

A police officer needs to meet a few requirements in order to legally request a breathalyzer test. If the officer witnesses the driver operating a motor vehicle, if they think the driver was in charge of it, or if they have good reason to suspect that the driver has been drinking, they may make such a demand.

The driver is legally required to cooperate with the officer's request to submit a breath sample for a breathalyzer test. It is illegal to refuse a breathalyzer test that a police officer has legitimately requested.

Give your case to us for assistance. Get in touch with RRM Law right now to strengthen your argument.

Need Help ?

Get Professional Help