The criminal law on drinking and driving was substantially revised by the federal government effective July 2nd, 2008. The minimum sentence for impaired driving, driving “over 80 mg.” and refusing breath tests or sobriety tests was raised to $1,000. The minimum sentence for a second offence was raised to 30 days in jail and a third conviction now carries a mandatory sentence of 120 days. It is important to note the maximum sentence that can be served on weekends is 90 days so that a third time offender will now have to serve his sentence continuously. The maximum sentences for offences involving bodily harm or death have been raised to 14 years and life imprisonment respectively. Criminal defence lawyers frequntly are met with a reaction of shock when these and other changes which will be discussed in future postings are explained to clients.
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