Dui Lawyer Toronto | Posner Craig Stein LLP
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Dui Lawyer Toronto

Experienced DUI Lawyer in Toronto: Delivering Outstanding Legal Representation and Expert Defence Strategies


DUI charges in Toronto and throughout Ontario are serious, and the lawyer you choose to represent you should be, too. You want a firm that offers the experience, resources, and track record of not guilty verdicts and withdrawn charges you can count on when your freedom, reputation, and finances are on the line. Those are all qualities we are proud to offer at Posner Craig Stein LLP, which helps us:


  • Investigate the charges against you to determine weak points in the prosecution’s case
  • Acquire evidence, examine toxicology reports, and review the circumstances of your arrest to bolster your defence
  • Work with expert witnesses to build our case
  • Negotiate with Crown lawyers during pre-trial discussions and court proceedings to reduce or drop charges
  • Argue the case from our position in court
  • Appeal your case to a higher court if necessary and possible


DUI laws are complex, and many contributing factors can affect the outcome of your case. The only way to avoid the errors unrepresented defendants make and improve your chance of a positive outcome is to seek assistance from a dependable legal team.


When you come to Posner Craig Stein LLP with your case, we will utilize our extensive resources to develop a strategy aimed at delivering the best results given the charges against you. Why choose us to handle your case? Because of:


  • Our 85 years of combined legal experience and 5,500+ cases handled
  • Our competitive pricing
  • Our ability to prepare strong legal arguments that work in your favour
  • Our dependable communication and quality customer service
  • Our knowledge of the criminal justice system
  • Our extensive track record of victories in similar cases


DUI is an acronym for “driving under the influence,” a colloquial shorthand for the crime of driving while impaired by alcohol (or drugs in some case). Law enforcement can arrest someone for DUI if they have reasonable grounds to believe that a driver is operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol/drugs.   A motorist can also be subjected to breath testing on the road with an approved screening device.  When a person “fails” such a test, an arrest for being “over the legal limit” will occur.  When a police officer demands that a motorist provide a breath sample into a screening device, the motorist must comply.  Failing to comply is a serious criminal offence with penalties as serious – or even more serious – than other DUI-related crimes.


If a police officer suspects that a person is driving with drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, fentanyl or other intoxicating substances in his/her body, the officer can demand that the person submit to standard field sobriety tests (SFSTs).  If a person fails such testing, the motorist can be subjected to examination by a police Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) and be required to provide a urine sample.


Based on the Criminal Code of Canada, a person commits DUI if they:


  • Operate a conveyance while impaired by a drug, alcohol, or any combination of a drug or alcohol to any degree;
  • Have, within two hours after ceasing operation of a conveyance, a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of at least 80 mg of alcohol in 100 mL of blood; or
  • Have, within two hours after ceasing operation of a conveyance, a blood drug concentration (BDC) above the legal limit for that drug.


What does this mean in plain English? That you could be charged and convicted of driving while impaired if you are found with a vehicle under your control and are intoxicated by drugs and/or alcohol to any degree. And while a blood test is one way to prove impairment, it is not the only way.  The most common device used by the police to determine blood alcohol concentration is with the use of the Intoxilyzer 8000c.  It is a serious criminal offence to refuse to provide a breath sample when a police officer has made an Intoxilyzer demand.  This device uses infrared technology and is highly reliable when properly calibrated.  A skilled defence lawyer, highly knowledgeable in this technology and the science of breath testing is vital when it comes to defending DUI cases.


A DUI conviction can lead to harsh penalties, especially if you have prior convictions for the same  (or related) offences.


First, you could face a mandatory one-year suspension of your driver licence, potentially affecting your ability to commute to your job and perform other everyday tasks. You could potentially reduce this suspension period by agreeing to have an Ignition Interlock Device (IID) installed in your vehicle. The reduction of the suspension period, and the availability of an IID depends on many circumstances.  A knowledgeable and experienced defence lawyer can explain these circumstances based on your situation. The IID is a device installed in a vehicle that prevents someone from starting the engine if it detects a predetermined limit of alcohol in their breath.


Beyond this, the consequences of a DUI conviction in Toronto and throughout Ontariocan be life-altering and might include any of the following:


  • Imprisonment
  • Substantial monetary fine
  • Criminal record
  • Lengthy driving prohibition
  • Mandatory alcohol education programs
  • Increased auto insurance premiums
  • Probation
  • Reputational damage among friends, family, and peers
  • Difficulty travelling internationally, including to and from the U.S.
  • Job termination and difficulty finding a new one


Below are the penalties for some of the most common drinking and driving charges in Toronto. Remember, the specific penalties you might face on conviction depend on a number of circumstances particular to your case, including your alleged BAC at the time of arrest, whether you have any prior convictions, and whether anyone was injured in a collision. Furthermore, the penalties listed are criminal and set at the federal level; you could also face administrative penalties set at the provincial level.



  • Alcohol or Drug-Impaired Driving
  • Having a BAC of At Least 80 mg per 100 mL of Blood Within Two Hours of Driving


  • First Offence: Mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 and no more than ten years imprisonment
  • Second Offence: Mandatory minimum of 30 days imprisonment and up to ten years imprisonment
  • Third Offence: Mandatory minimum of 120 days imprisonment and a maximum of ten years imprisonment



  • Having a BAC of 50 mg per 100 mL and 2.5 ng or More of THC per 1 mL of Blood within Two Hours of Driving


  • First Offence: Mandatory minimum fine of $1,000 and no more than ten years imprisonment
  • Second Offence: Mandatory minimum of 30 days imprisonment and up to ten years imprisonment
  • Third Offence: Mandatory minimum of 120 days imprisonment and a maximum of ten years imprisonment



  • Refusal to Provide a Sample


  • Minimum fine of $2,000



  • Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm


  • Summary conviction – Maximum two years imprisonment less one day
  • Indictment – Maximum 14 years imprisonment



  • Impaired Driving Causing Death


  • Indictment – Maximum life in prison


Impaired driving charges in Toronto, and indeed the rest of Canada, are serious and carry significant legal consequences. The laws are mainly governed by the Criminal Code of Canada (which concerns the criminal penalties for impaired driving) and the Ontario Highway Traffic Act (which concerns administrative penalties, such as license suspension). These laws define impaired driving as the operation of a vehicle (motor vehicle, aircraft, or watercraft) while the person’s ability to do so is compromised by alcohol or drugs. Impaired driving is a criminal offence, and the charges extend beyond simply drunk driving. It encompasses driving under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.  Failing to comply with a breath demand is also a serious crime.


A motorist who is caught impaired while driving in Toronto may face serious penalties, depending on the exact circumstances of the alleged offence. The severity of the offence, prior offences, injuries, and deaths caused by the incident are all factors that can intensify the potential charges and their subsequent penalties. The authorities take these cases very seriously in an attempt to ensure public safety on the roads.


Specific impaired driving charges in Toronto include the following:


  • Alcohol-impaired driving
  • Impaired Over 80 (having a BAC of at least 80 mg per 100 mL of blood within two hours of driving)
  • First offence + BAC of 80-119 mg
  • First offence + BAC of 120-159 mg
  • First offence + BAC of 160 mg or more
  • Drug-impaired driving
  • Impaired driving causing bodily harm
  • Impaired driving causing death


There are several additional laws on the provincial level that apply to DUI in Toronto:


  • License Suspension Laws– Police can immediately suspend a driver’s license if testing shows their BAC to be at least 50 mg of alcohol per 100 mL of blood.
  • Zero Tolerance Laws– In Ontario, drivers under the age of 21 and novice drivers of any age are subject to zero tolerance laws.


Law enforcement can arrest you after establishing reasonable suspicion that you have been driving while impaired based on observations or roadside testing. Once the officer places you under arrest, they can bring you to the station for additional testing. You can be charged with a crime if you refuse to submit to any blood or breath test.


A first-offence refusal of a breathalyzer or blood sample can lead to penalties, including:


  • An immediate administrative suspension of your driver’s license for 90 days
  • Vehicle impoundment for seven days
  • $2,000 fine


If you were arrested or charged with DUI in Toronto, your best option to preserve your rights and fight for your freedom is to hire an experienced lawyer. A DUI conviction can change the course of your life and lead to severe legal ramifications, including expensive fines, the loss of your driver’s license, and even jail time. Rather than simply accept these damaging consequences, get in touch with a DUI lawyer in Toronto. They can provide:


  • Help with the evidence – Evidence is critical in DUI defences. Your legal team can review the facts of the case to develop a defence that disproves the prosecution’s theories or establishes a reasonable doubt in the judge’s
  • Legal advice and guidance – Your lawyer can explain viable defence strategies and advise you on which ones are likely to be most effective.
  • A barrier from prosecutors – Your lawyer can handle your interactions with prosecutors on your behalf. That way, you do not inadvertently incriminate yourself. They can also negotiate for a lesser sentence given the circumstances.
  • Peace of mind – Above all else, you get the confidence of knowing your case is in experienced hands.


There are many ways to get a DUI charge “dropped” (withdrawn) in Toronto, although which of these are available to you depends on the unique circumstances of the charges against you. Defence lawyers often turn to one of two common strategies to get their client’s DUI charges dropped:


  • Negotiate for a plea bargain, lowering the criminal DUI charge to a Provincial careless driving charge
  • Identify major flaws in the Crown’s case, demonstrating how proceeding with prosecution would be inappropriate


Criminal records are permanent. However, the Canadian government sometimes grants criminal record suspensions (sometimes called “pardons”) for certain criminal offences, including DUI convictions.


The Record Suspension Program allows individuals with a criminal record to effectively remove their criminal record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. While the record is not destroyed entirely, a CPIC search will not uncover it. However, applicants must meet the terms of their sentencing and show they are a law-abiding citizen for a specific number of years, as established in the latest laws concerning the program. The required period for applicants who received a summary judgment of DUI is five years. Those convicted of an indictable offence DUI can apply after 10 years.


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