What Happens If You Refuse To Blow On A Breathalyzer?

June 20, 2022


Since driving is considered a privilege in Canada and not a right, in the event that you are found guilty of driving under the influence of drugs or Alcohol, the province can suspend or revoke your driver’s license, levy fines as well as put you in jail for not following the law.

If you are driving under the influence and the officer on duty suspects you, you will be asked to take a breathalyzer test. This test is mandatory and in most cases, you cannot refuse to take it.

However, many people still will refuse to blow on the device which comes with many consequences. Most license holders do not understand that at the time of application they have consented to a BAC test in exchange for driving privileges. This means that if at any point, you refuse to blow on the Breathalyzer, you are basically surrendering your driving privileges.

As the best criminal defence lawyers in Edmonton, we receive many cases where individuals are dealing with the consequences of denying a Breathalyzer test. Hence, we have curated this blog to help you understand what happens if you refuse to blow on a Breathalyzer.

Also Read: What Happens If You Fail A Breathalyzer Test?

Refusal To Blow

The term “Refusal to Blow” refers to when an individual is asked for a breath sample by the authorities to determine their alcohol level and he/she refuses to comply with it. The penalties for refusing to provide a breath sample are harsh. They are at par with driving with higher than a .08 blood alcohol content and impaired driving.

Know that if you have been driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, refusing to blow will not get you out of your predicament rather it will hamper the defences available to you.

It is a criminal offence. Hence, before indulging in refusal to blow, think it through. There are chances that the alcohol level in your breath is lower than the limit and you might be left off the hook.

Penalty Of Refusal To Blow

According to Section 254(5) Criminal Code of Canada:

A person who refuses to comply with a lawful demand for a breath sample or a lawful demand to perform a sobriety test in relation to a drunk driving investigation can be found guilty of the drunk driving charge of “failure to blow”.

A person convicted of this offence faces a maximum penalty of five years in jail. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of a one-year driving prohibition and a $1000.00 fine. It is noteworthy that this is the same as the penalty for impaired driving over 80.

Know that this charge is very easy to provide. All that is necessary is to show that the person did not comply with what he/she was asked for. Hence, in cases like these, there are very few defences.

Can You Call A Lawyer?

According to the law, the person who is asked to blow on an approved roadside screening device cannot speak to a lawyer before providing the “roadside” breath demand into an approved roadside screening device (ASD).

However, if you are asked to provide breath for a breathalyzer, you can exercise your legal right of contacting a lawyer.

How Can We Help?

Whether you have been charged with impaired driving, speed driving or refusing a breath sample our team of experts can help you. We have unparalleled experience and have dealt with many similar cases.

Slaferek lawyers are highly proficient at strategizing effective defence strategies that can lead to case dismissal, reduced charges, reduced penalties, and more. To get in touch with us today, click here. Our expertise lies in criminal cases and DUI cases.

If you are scrambling with charges or are looking for a good criminal defence lawyer to fight your case, our team of trained lawyers can help you build a strong case. We have successfully closed hundreds of cases pertaining to murder, DUI, financial fraud and more.

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Contacting Darin H. Slaferek

We specialize in criminal law, delivering ethical, effective, and efficient legal solutions that prioritize the best interests of our clients.