Can I Be Arrested for a DUI Offence in Calgary If I Was Not Driving?

Some people are surprised when they are arrested and charged with a DUI offence, even though they were not driving and only sitting behind the wheel of their parked car. The Criminal Code of Canada and the Highway Traffic Act define several different types of drinking and driving (DUI) offences. Among these, is a special one called “Care or Control.”

A Use and Car offence is where the alleged defendant was sitting behind the wheel of a parked car with easy access to the vehicle’s key. Unlike being stopped for Impaired Driving or Driving Over 0.80%, whether to charge someone with a Care or Control offence, is left up to the police to determine if the driver actually is intending to drive or has driven recently, and what they deem to be considered easy access to the vehicle’s keys.

For instance, if the car is parked, but the engine is running, then more than likely, the police will charge the suspect with Care or Control. However, an arrest is not made until after the police have collected a sample to determine the alleged defendant’s blood alcohol level. The sample is normally collected by using a breathalyzer machine and having the suspect blow into the device. If the blood alcohol level is over 0.80%, then an arrest probably will be made.

On the other hand, if the person is sitting in the passenger seat or back seat, and the keys are not in the ignition, the police must provide supporting evidence indicating they believed the suspect was going to attempt to drive while still intoxicated. This does not necessarily mean they will not still make an arrest, it just means the defendant would have grounds to build a strong defence against the charges.

The consequences and punishments for pleading guilty to, being found guilty in a court of law, or taking a plea agreement for a Care or Controloffence are similar to those for Impaired Driving and Driving Over 0.80%. First-time offenders of a Care or Controloffence incur a minimum fine of $1,000. Their driving privileges are also suspended for a specific period of time. In addition, your insurance rates can increase. Once driving privileges are reinstated, you could be required to pay for the installation of an interlock device. Further, there is always the possibility of being imprisoned, depending upon the exact circumstances of the case.

If you have been arrested and charged with a Care or ControlDUI offence, do not gamble with your future. This offence is just as serious had you been stopped and charged with Impaired Driving or Driving Over 0.80%. You need the help of an experienced Calgary criminal defence lawyer to prepare a strategic defence to fight the charges and receive the best possible outcome.

Keep in mind the above content should not be used for actual legal advice, but for informational purposes only. In order to receive actual legal advice, you need to contact Gracia Law at 403-975-4529 and schedule a free case evaluation appointment today.