Drinking & Driving

The Criminal Code definitions of these offences are set out below:

Operation while impaired 253. (1) Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or vessel or operates or assists in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment, whether it is in motion or not,

(a) while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by alcohol or a drug; or

(b) having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person’s blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood.

For greater certainty (2) For greater certainty, the reference to impairment by alcohol or a drug in paragraph (1)(a) includes impairment by a combination of alcohol and a drug.

R.S., 1985, c. C-46, s. 253; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36, c. 32 (4th Supp.), s. 59; 2008, c. 6, s. 18.

Testing for presence of alcohol or a drug

(2) If a peace officer has reasonable grounds to suspect that a person has alcohol or a drug in their body and that the person has, within the preceding three hours, operated a motor vehicle or vessel, operated or assisted in the operation of an aircraft or railway equipment or had the care or control of a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment, whether it was in motion or not, the peace officer may, by demand, require the person to comply with paragraph (a), in the case of a drug, or with either or both of paragraphs (a) and (b), in the case of alcohol:

(a) to perform forthwith physical coordination tests prescribed by regulation to enable the peace officer to determine whether a demand may be made under subsection (3) or (3.1) and, if necessary, to accompany the peace officer for that purpose; and

(b) to provide forthwith a sample of breath that, in the peace officer’s opinion, will enable a proper analysis to be made by means of an approved screening device and, if necessary, to accompany the peace officer for that purpose.

Failure or refusal to comply with demand

(5) Everyone commits an offence who, without reasonable excuse, fails or refuses to comply with a demand made under this section.

s.258(1)
(c) where samples of the breath of the accused have been taken pursuant to a demand made under subsection 254(3), if

(i) [Not in force]

(ii) each sample was taken as soon as practicable after the time when the offence was alleged to have been committed and, in the case of the first sample, not later than two hours after that time, with an interval of at least fifteen minutes between the times when the samples were taken,

(iii) each sample was received from the accused directly into an approved container or into an approved instrument operated by a qualified technician, and

iv) an analysis of each sample was made by means of an approved instrument operated by a qualified technician,