What Does it Mean to be Over 80 in Ontario?

The province of Ontario has a strict guideline for measuring intoxication by alcohol. If you have over 80 mg per 100 mL of blood, you are considered impaired and thus face charges if you get pulled over while behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. While the law seems very cut and dried, it isn’t always easy for somebody to tell if they have had too much to drink. Keep the following information in mind to make sure that you don’t find yourself faced with an impaired driving charge.

What Can Put You Over 80?

A relatively small amount of alcohol can linger in your blood for quite some time, potentially leading to a DUI charge if you get behind the wheel of a vehicle and draw the attention of a police officer. While the exact amount that it takes to reach this limit depends largely on your weight and gender, most people reach the 80 mg limit after only two or three drinks. While particularly large men might be able to drink four alcoholic beverages before reaching the limit, anybody who has multiple drinks runs the risk of being over 80. It’s worth remembering that, for the purposes of what counts as a drink, a bottle of beer, a glass of wine, and a shot of liquor all have about the same amount of alcohol.

How an Officer Determines if You are Over 80

A police officer can pull you over for a number of different reasons, including erratic driving, routine traffic violations, or speeding. If the officer smells alcohol at the traffic stop or notices other signs of impaired driving, you may find yourself brought to the police station to undergo testing as to whether you should face a driving over 80 charge. This consists of a pair of breathalyzer tests, each of which are provided at least 15 minutes apart. If both tests indicate that you are legally impaired, you will face a DUI charge. The consequences of this charge could range from a fine to loss of your license or even jail time, depending on your prior record. At this point, an impaired driving lawyer becomes necessary.

Punishments for Driving Over 80

If the over 80 charge you face is a first-time offence, your punishment may consist of a fine, being forced to attend a mandatory alcohol education course, and a requirement that your vehicle be equipped with an ignition interlock device. If you have a previous over 80 charge on your record, you might wind up with a suspended driver’s license, a fine of $1,000 or more, and even jail time. Hiring a lawyer who has knowledge of impaired driving cases can help you highlight mitigating circumstances, procedural errors on the part of the arresting officer, and other issues that may help get you a lighter punishment.

The best way to avoid an over 80 charge is to make sure you are sober when you get behind a wheel. If you do find yourself in this unfortunate situation, though, be sure to reach out to a lawyer who knows how to defend against over 80 charges in your regional court.

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