Over 80 Charge Ontario

When it comes to the over 80 charge in Ontario, navigating the legal landscape can be overwhelming. Our trusted DUI lawyers are here to provide you with a comprehensive guide that sheds light on the intricacies of this offence. 

Understand the legal implications, potential consequences, and essential information to navigate this challenging situation effectively.

What is Over 80 Charge?

Being charged with “Over 80” in Ontario means operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) exceeding the legal limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. 

This offence is based on the belief that having a BAC above the limit impairs one’s ability to drive safely, posing risks to both the individual and others on the road. 

In Ontario, this charge is regulated by the following:

  • Highway Traffic Act, section 48;
  • Criminal Code of Canada, section 320(14).

What is the legal drinking limit in Ontario?

In Ontario, any blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level exceeding 80 mg of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood can result in criminal charges. This BAC limit acts as a crucial threshold to assess impairment while operating a vehicle.

Surpassing this limit carries significant legal ramifications, as it directly violates impaired driving laws and can lead to severe consequences.

Remember, impaired judgment is one of the early effects of alcohol consumption. Your BAC may exceed the legal limit even if you don’t feel impaired. 

But we strongly advise you to NOT operate a vehicle after consuming any amount of alcohol, as even the slightest intake can have detrimental effects on your ability to drive safely!

Determining if You Are Over 80

When a police officer suspects you of operating a vehicle with BAC exceeding the legal limit of 80mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood, they follow a process to assess your level of impairment:

  • Observation: The officer observes your driving behaviour and looks for signs of impairment.
  • Traffic Stop: If there are reasonable grounds to suspect impairment, they signal you to pull over and assess your behaviour, appearance, and speech.
  • Field Sobriety Tests: You may be asked to perform tests to evaluate coordination, balance, and cognitive ability.
  • Breathalyzer Test: If impairment is suspected, a breathalyzer test is administered to measure your breath alcohol concentration (BAC). At the police station, you will be subjected to two breathalyzer tests, with each sample taken 15 minutes apart. The passage of time is significant because alcohol dissipates from your bloodstream gradually. If you have allowed a considerable period between drinking and driving, you are less likely to be found guilty of driving over 80.
  • Arrest and Further Testing: If the BAC exceeds the legal limit, you are arrested and undergo additional testing at the police station.

In theory, you can refuse to provide a breath sample. However, this decision carries its own consequences. If you decline the test or attempt to manipulate the results by not providing a sufficient sample, you can be charged with refusing breathalyzer in Ontario, which carries its own set of penalties, including fines, suspensions, and criminal record and may have more severe consequences if you have previous offences. 

Elements Required to Prove an Over 80 Charge in Ontario

To prove an over 80 charge, the prosecution must establish certain elements. These elements typically include:

  • Operation of a Motor Vehicle: It must be proven that the individual was operating or in control of a motor vehicle while their BAC exceeded the legal limit.
  • Blood Alcohol Concentration: The prosecution needs to provide evidence, such as breathalyzer test results or blood tests, to demonstrate that the person’s BAC was above the legal limit at the time of driving.

Understanding these key elements is essential when facing an over 80 charge. You gain the power to challenge the charge based on your unique circumstances effectively.

What is the difference between impaired driving and over 80?

Impaired driving and Over 80 are two related but distinct charges related to driving under the influence of alcohol in Canada. Here’s a concise explanation of the difference between the two:

Impaired Driving:

  • Impaired driving encompasses operating a motor vehicle while alcohol or drug consumption impairs your ability to drive safely.
  • It is a broad charge encompassing impairment by any substance, including alcohol, illegal drugs, prescription medications, or a combination thereof.
  • Impaired driving can be proven by demonstrating signs of impairment, such as slurred speech, erratic driving, or impaired coordination, regardless of the actual blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.

Over 80:

  • Over 80 specifically relates to the blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level.
  • It refers to operating a motor vehicle with a BAC that exceeds the legal limit of 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of your blood.
  • Over 80 focuses on measuring alcohol in the bloodstream and does not require demonstrating visible signs of impairment.

Both charges are criminal offences under the Criminal Code of Canada.

difference between impaired driving and over 80 charge Ontario

In summary, impaired driving charges focus on the overall impairment caused by alcohol or drugs, while over 80 charges specifically target the blood alcohol concentration exceeding the legal limit. Both offences carry serious penalties and consequences under Canadian law.

Penalties for Over 80 Charges

The penalties for an Over 80 charge can be categorized into immediate penalties under the Highway Traffic Act and Criminal Code penalties. And they can vary depending on the specific circumstances, level of impairment, prior convictions, and other factors. Here are the penalties you may face:

Immediate Over 80 Charge Penalties Under the Highway Traffic Act:

  • 90-day driver’s license suspension
  • 7-day vehicle impoundment
  • Minimum fine of $1,000
  • Subsequent Offences: Increasing fines, potentially higher amounts
  • Impoundment fees

Over 80 Criminal Code Penalties:

  • Criminal record
  • Minimum 1-year driver’s licence suspension (first offence), longer suspensions, up to and including lifetime bans (subsequent offences)
  • Fine of at least $1,000 (first offence), higher fines for subsequent offences
  • Imprisonment: no jail time (first offence), from 30 days and up to 10 years (subsequent offences)
  • Mandatory Education or Treatment Programs: Completion of mandatory alcohol education or treatment programs as ordered by the court
  • Ignition Interlock Requirements: Equipping your vehicle with a specialized device that demands a breath sample before initiating the engine, ensuring responsible alcohol use

Consequences for over 80 charge in Ontario vary significantly depending on the previous convictions, so you need to consider this. More information you can find in our impaired driving penalties guide. 

How Over 80 Charge Influences Your Insurance?

Moreover, Being convicted of an over 80 charge in Ontario can have significant consequences for your insurance. These include:

  • Increased premiums: Insurance companies consider impaired driving convictions as high-risk behaviour, leading to substantial increases in insurance premiums.
  • Difficulty finding coverage: Some insurers may choose not to renew your policy, making it challenging to find affordable coverage with other providers.
  • Specialized high-risk insurance: If traditional coverage is unavailable, you may be required to obtain insurance from specialized high-risk providers with higher premiums.
  • Loss of discounts: Convictions for impaired driving can result in the loss of insurance discounts or benefits, such as safe driver discounts.

How to Beat an Over 80 Charge in Ontario?

Beating an over 80 charge can be challenging, but with a strategic approach and the assistance of a skilled DUI lawyer, it is possible to build a strong defence. 

Here are some key steps to increase your chances of successfully fighting over 80 charge Ontario:

  • Seek Legal Representation: Immediately consult an experienced DUI lawyer specializing in impaired driving cases. They will provide expert advice, analyze the specifics of your case, and develop a defence strategy tailored to your situation.
  • Assess the Evidence: Carefully review all the evidence against you, including police reports, breathalyzer test results, witness statements, and any other relevant documentation. Your lawyer will identify weaknesses, inconsistencies, and potential violations of your rights in the evidence presented by the prosecution.
  • Challenge Breathalyzer Test Results: Breathalyzer test results are often crucial in over 80 cases. Your lawyer will examine the administration and accuracy of the breathalyzer test, including the calibration of the device, potential operator errors, and any medical conditions that may have affected the results. Challenging the reliability of the test can be a key defence strategy.
  • Investigate Police Conduct: Any misconduct or procedural errors by law enforcement officers during the arrest, detention, or testing process can undermine the prosecution’s case. Your lawyer will investigate the actions of the police officers involved, ensuring that your rights are respected and that proper procedures are followed.
  • Explore Legal Defences: Your lawyer will explore various legal defences based on the specific circumstances of your case. These may include contesting the legality of the traffic stop or arrest, questioning the accuracy of the evidence, challenging witness credibility, or raising constitutional issues related to your rights.
  • Negotiate with Prosecutors: Sometimes it is possible to negotiate with the prosecutors for a reduced charge or alternative sentencing. Skilled DUI lawyers are adept at engaging in negotiations and can advocate on your behalf to secure a favourable resolution.
  • Prepare for Trial: If a resolution cannot be reached through negotiations, your lawyer will meticulously prepare for trial. This involves gathering additional evidence, interviewing witnesses, and developing a strong courtroom strategy to challenge the prosecution’s case and present your defence effectively.

Remember, each case is unique, and the success of your defence will depend on the specific circumstances and evidence involved. Working closely with a knowledgeable DUI lawyer will provide you with the best opportunity to beat an over 80 charge in Ontario.

At X-COPS, our experienced team of DUI lawyers in Ontario is dedicated to providing comprehensive legal support and achieving the best possible outcome for our clients. Here’s how X-COPS can assist you throughout the legal process:

  • Legal Expertise: Our team possesses in-depth knowledge of Ontario’s DUI laws and extensive experience handling over 80 charges.
  • Strategic Defense & Case Assessment: We thoroughly assess the evidence, identifying weaknesses in the prosecution’s case to develop a customized defence strategy to challenge the prosecution’s evidence and protect your rights.
  • Negotiations and Advocacy: Our skilled negotiators engage with prosecutors to secure favourable outcomes, or we vigorously advocate for your rights in court.
  • Support and Guidance: We provide unwavering support, explain legal proceedings, and keep you informed about your case.
  • Protecting Your Future: We work to minimize the impact of the charges, protecting your driving privileges and minimizing penalties.

Hiring a DUI lawyer significantly increases your chances of a favourable outcome. If you’re facing an over 80 charge, contact X-COPS or a trusted DUI law firm for a FREE consultation. We can provide the expertise and guidance to protect your rights and achieve the best possible resolution.

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    Here we've prepared a short list of frequently asked questions in order to provide quick answers to anyone who's looking for information associated with the topic. If you need more clarification, please don't hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

    👉Can you beat an over 80 charge?

    Beating an over 80 charge in Ontario is possible, but it's a complex process. Success depends on evidence, arrest circumstances, and legal representation.

    Hire a skilled DUI lawyer specializing in impaired driving cases to increase your chances. They'll assess evidence, challenge the prosecution, and develop tailored defences.

    Defences may include disputing breathalyzer accuracy, questioning police conduct, or providing alternative explanations for signs of impairment.

    Each case is unique, and the potential to beat the charge depends on your specific circumstances. Consult a DUI lawyer for personalized advice.

    👉What is the penalty for over 80 in Ontario?

    Here is a list of penalties for an Over 80 charge in Ontario for the first offence:

    - 90-day driver's license suspension
    - 7-day vehicle impoundment
    - Fines ranging from $1,000 to $5,000
    - Criminal record
    - Minimum 1-year driver's licence suspension
    - Minimum fine of $1,000
    - Possibility of imprisonment for subsequent convictions.
    - Mandatory education or treatment programs at own expense.
    - Mandatory ignition interlock device installation at own cost.

    👉What is the Canadian Criminal Code over 80?

    In the Canadian Criminal Code, "over 80" refers to the offence of operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration that exceeds the legal limit. The specific section of the Criminal Code that addresses this offence is Section 320.14(1)(b). According to this section, it is deemed unlawful to operate or have control over a motor vehicle while surpassing the threshold of 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood in terms of blood alcohol concentration.

    👉What does over 80 mean?

    The term "over 80" refers to operating a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) that exceeds the legal limit. In Canada, "over 80" refers to having a blood alcohol concentration of over 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood.

    Driving with a BAC above the legal limit is considered a serious offence as it impairs one's ability to operate a vehicle safely. It poses risks not only to the driver but also to other road users. The legal limit of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood is based on scientific research and is established to promote road safety.

    Being charged with driving "over 80" can result in criminal penalties, including fines, potential imprisonment, license suspension, mandatory education or treatment programs, and other consequences determined by the court.

    Don’t just pay the fine or go to court alone


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