article is the first in a series of articles expected out in the next few
months from David Anber’s Law Office.
we called them “section 253 offences.” Prior to 2008 it was s.253(a) (impaired driving)
and 253(b) (driving over 80mg). Then in 2008, the government brought in
changes. There were modest changes to the substance and there were a few
technical changes (impaired driving was now 253(1)(a) and over 80 was
2019. Recent amendments have been made within the past few weeks which
dramatically change the substance of driving offences in Canada, and also
completely overhaul the numbering system.
driving sections are found at section 320.11 to 320.4 of the Criminal Code.
basic change is that rather than encumber many sections with lengthy references
to motor vehicles (automobiles), aircraft, railway equipment or boats (vessels),
all of these things are now called “conveyances”.
Conveyance means a motor vehicle, a vessel, an aircraft or railway, equipment. (moyen de transport)
sounds easy enough, right? Well that’s just the very tip of the iceberg.
mentioned above, this is the first in a series of articles which will attempt
to discuss some of the larger changes.
with the new offences, here are the relevant sections:
- 320.13 Dangerous Driving
- 320.14 (1)(a)
- 320.14 (1)(b)
Driving over 80 mg
- 320.14 (1)(c)
Driving over the drug limit (5 ng for THC)
- 320.14 (1)(d) over 50 + over 2.5 ng THC
- 320.14 (2) = causing bodily harm
- 320.14 (3) =
- 320.14 (4) low drug,
i.e. THC >2ng
- 320.14 (5) exception to being over within 2
hours if (i) consumption after driving (ii) no reasonable expectation that
would have to provide sample (iii) drinking pattern consistent with
- 320.14 (6) same as
(5) for drugs except only (i) and (ii)
- 320.15 failing or
refusing to provide a sample (refuse sample)
- 320.16 fail to stop
(at the scene of an accident – the Criminal Code version of failing to
- 320.17 flight from
- 320.18 drive
- 320.19 minimum
penalties $1000 on 1st, 30 days on 2nd, 120 days on 3rd BUT minimum fines
if 120 or above = $1500 and 160 or above or refuse = $2000 note that BAC
increases do not apply to impaired count
- 320.19(2) for low
drug, i.e. 320.14(4) max fine $1000
- 320.23 allows for
departure from minimums IF treatment program approved by province is
completed WITH consent of accused AND prosecutor
- 320.24 driving prohibitions
1st=1-3 years 2nd =2-10 years 3rd=3yrs plus jail to life (note that
Causing Bodily Harm and Cause Death cases have no minimum oddly enough)
- 320.24(10) minimum
time until interlock eligible 1st=potentially 0 2nd=3 months 3rd=6 months
SECTION 320.14(5) – POST DRIVING DRINKING
week’s article will look at this section in particular.
know that in some situations IT IS NOW ILLEGAL TO DRINK UP TO TWO
HOURS AFTER DRIVING?
320.14(2)(b) subject to
subsection (5), it is an offence when within two hours after ceasing to operate
a conveyance, you have a blood alcohol concentration that is equal to or
exceeds 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood.
The exception is found here:
person commits an offence under paragraph (1)(b) if
· (a) they consumed alcohol after ceasing to operate the conveyance;
· (b) after ceasing to operate the conveyance, they had no reasonable
expectation that they would be required to provide a sample of breath or blood;
· (c) their alcohol consumption is consistent with their blood alcohol
concentration as determined in accordance with subsection 320.31(1) or (2) and
with their having had, at the time when they were operating the conveyance, a
blood alcohol concentration that was less than 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of
This requires threading the needle to prove that you weren’t over the
legal limit while driving and to prove you didn’t intend to interfere with the
proper measurement of your blood-alcohol concentration.
the months to come that there will be challenges to the constitutionality of
large changes like this one. For more information, please contact us for a free
tuned for our next instalment regarding approved screening devices.
have any questions, please do not hesitate to call David or Matthew at David Anber’s law office for more information.