dwi laws, DWI LAWS, D.W.I. Laws: driving while intoxicated laws, laws about dwi

The words dwi laws, DWI law, D.U.I, and "driving while intoxicated", are used by DWI lawyers and DWI attorneys in  United  States DWI Law. The expression "DWI laws" is not found in the Criminal Code of Canada. Canadians use terminology other than "DWI laws" or "driving while intoxicated laws". We use the words "impaired driving laws" or "impaired operation laws", or "impaired care or control laws" but not "driving while intoxicated laws". In Canadian laws it is any impairment by alcohol or a drug of one's ability to operate a motor vehicle combined with operation that is forbidden, not "driving while intoxicated". (DWI). 

The words "drive while intoxicated" in Canada implies that an individual is drunk beyond the point of self-control. Provincial legislation authorizes the arrest of intoxicated persons when there is an element of danger to themselves. Intoxication may be a defence to serious criminal offences where the drunkenness directly interferes with the individual's capacity to intend to do something. When it comes to DWI law in Canada we don't use the words "drive while intoxicated" or D.W.I, DWI. Instead we focus on whether or not the person's ability to operate the motor vehicle is "impaired" by alcohol.

The prohibited level of impairment may be slight. In R. v. Stellato, 78 C.C.C. (3d) 380, the issue was whether or not Canada's DWI offence required that the driver's conduct demonstrated a marked departure from that of a normal person. Chief Justice Lamer of the Supreme Court of Canada agreed with the views of Mr. Justice Labrosse for the Ontario Court of Appeal:

"At trial, the Crown's evidence consisted of the testimony of the arresting officer and the breathalyzer technician who had observed the classic signs of impairment: erratic driving, strong odour of alcoholic beverage, glassy and bloodshot eyes, slurred speech and unsteadiness on his feet. Both police officers had concluded that the appellant's ability to operate his vehicle was impaired by alcohol."

"In his reasons, the trial judge stated:

      The question then remains as to whether those observations are sufficient or indeed whether in law what the court requires, in order to convict someone of this offence, [is] a marked departure from the standard. In that regard I have always had reference to the case of R. v. Winlaw, that is a decision of the Ontario District Court, as it then was, and His Honour Judge Salhany, a case reported at 13 M.V.R. (2d) 112, 6 W.C.B. (2d) 251, a judgment rendered some two years ago, December, 1988. There, the learned judge went through the law, as was presented to him, with respect to the law of impaired driving and I take that case to stand for the proposition that the section involved here, namely, s. 253(a), creates an offence of being impaired, not markedly impaired, but simply impaired, and it does not require evidence of a marked departure from a norm or standard of sobriety; any kind of impairment, even slight, was sufficient to constitute the offence."

 "The expression ''marked departure from what is usually considered as the normal'' originated in the decision of the Alberta District Court in R. v. McKenzie (1955), 111 C.C.C. 317, 20 C.R. 412, 14 W.W.R. (N.S.) 500. This was an appeal from a conviction on a charge of driving while ability was impaired. At p. 319, Sissons C.J.D.C. stated:

      There appears to be no single test or observation of impairment of control of faculties, standing alone, which is sufficiently conclusive. There should be consideration of a combination of several tests and observations such as general conduct, smell of the breath, character of the speech, manner of walking, turning sharply, sitting down and rising, picking up objects, reaction of the pupils of the eyes, character of the breathing.

      If a combination of several tests and observations shows a marked departure from what is usually considered as the normal, it seems a reasonable conclusion that the driver is intoxicated with consequent impairment of control of faculties and therefore that his ability to drive is impaired.

      I do not think such a finding should be made on a slight variation from the normal."

...

"In R. v. Campbell (1991), 26 M.V.R. (2d) 319, 87 Nfld. & P.E.I.R. 269, 12 W.C.B. (2d) 155, the Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal also considered the test for impairment. Without specific reference to McKenzie, Mitchell J.A., speaking for the court, rejected the requirement for a marked departure from normal behaviour. At p. 320, he wrote:

      The Criminal Code does not prescribe any special test for determining impairment. It is an issue of fact which the trial Judge must decide on the evidence. The standard of proof is neither more nor less than that required for any other element of a criminal offence. Before he can convict, a trial Judge must receive sufficient evidence to satisfy himself beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused's ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol.

      It is not an offence to drive a motor vehicle after having consumed some alcohol as long as it has not impaired the ability to drive. However, a person who drives while his or her ability to do so is impaired by alcohol is guilty of an offence regardless of whether his ability to drive is greatly or only slightly impaired. Courts must therefore take care when determining the issue not to apply tests which assume or imply a tolerance that does not exist in law. Trial judges constantly have to keep in mind that it is an offence to operate a motor vehicle while the ability to do so is impaired by alcohol. If there is sufficient evidence before the Court to prove that the accused's ability to drive was even slightly impaired by alcohol, the Judge must find him guilty."

...

"I agree with Mitchell J.A. in Campbell that the Criminal Code does not prescribe any special test for determining impairment. In the words of Mitchell J.A., impairment is an issue of fact which the trial judge must decide on the evidence and the standard of proof is neither more nor less than that required for any other element of a criminal offence: courts should not apply tests which imply a tolerance that does not exist in law.

In all criminal cases the trial judge must be satisfied as to the accused's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt before a conviction can be registered. Accordingly, before convicting an accused of impaired driving, the trial judge must be satisfied that the accused's ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol or a drug. If the evidence of impairment is so frail as to leave the trial judge with a reasonable doubt as to impairment, the accused must be acquitted. If the evidence of impairment establishes any degree of impairment ranging from slight to great, the offence has been made out.

In the present case, the trial judge applied the correct test for impairment. There was sufficient evidence adduced at trial from which he could find that the Crown had proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the appellant's ability to operate a motor vehicle was impaired by alcohol at the material time."

 

It is also a "DWI laws" criminal offence in Canada to drive having more than 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 mls of blood whether one's ability to drive is "influenced" (DWI) or not . 

Canada has two main substantive DWI law criminal offences:

  1. impaired operation or care or control,

  2. over 80 operation or care or control

Section 253. Every one commits an offence who operates a motor vehicle or vessel or operates or assists in the operation of an aircraft or of railway equipment or has the care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment, whether it is in motion or not,

(a) while the person's ability to operate the vehicle, vessel, aircraft or railway equipment is impaired by alcohol or a drug; or

(b) having consumed alcohol in such a quantity that the concentration in the person's blood exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol in one hundred millilitres of blood.

Impaired operation or care or control in Canada includes operation or care or control of a motor vehicle, vessel, or aircraft while one's ability to operate is impaired by alcohol or a drug to any degree of impairment. This DWI offence is proven by evidence of bad driving and various indicia of impairment observed such as slurred speech, difficulty with standing walking turning, red glassy glossy bloodshot eyes, dilated pupils, odor odour of an alcoholic beverage, complexion flushed face, and performance on physical tests.

The DWI offence of excess blood alcohol or over 80 is usually proven by breath tests that determine blood alcohol concentration using and approved instrument such as a Breathalyzer 900 900A or Intoxilyzer 5000C. Blood tests are used in DWI cases where breath tests are not practical to provide evidence of blood alcohol concentration.

Both Canadian DWI laws are federal criminal law offences. The Crown in Canada can prosecute a DWI in either of two ways. DWI offences are hybrid offences in Canada. The Crown may prosecute a DWI offence by indictment (roughly similar to a US felony DWI) or they may prosecute a DWI offence by summary conviction (roughly similar to a US misdemeanor). The local Crown Attorney must elect whether to proceed with the D.U.I. by indictment or by summary conviction. Until he or she elects, the DWI offence is deemed to be prosecuted by indictment. Most Canadian DWI offences are prosecuted by summary conviction.

The usual penalty for a first DWI offence in Canada is a fine. The minimum second DWI offence penalty is 30 days in jail. The minimum penalty for a third DWI is 120 days in jail. There is always a DWI driving prohibition and the local province will suspend a DWI offender's driver's licence.

If a US citizen or other non-Canadian citizen is convicted of a DWI offence in the USA or a dwi offence in any country other than Canada, the DWI offender will be inadmissible to Canada on grounds of criminality, unless rehabilitated, because the DWI offence is deemed to be a Canadian DWI offence and all Canadian DWI offences are deemed indictable (similar to a US felony - see above) unless the Crown has elected to proceed with the DWI offence by summary conviction (which will never have happened because the DWI offense occurred outside Canada. The situation will be different if the DWI offence occurs in Canada and the Crown elects to proceed by summary conviction which they normally do.

Click the banner for more Canadian DWI laws information.

DWI LAWS, D.U.I. Laws, or driving under the influence laws is, however, an important concept used in the United States. For more detailed DWI legal information click on one of the links below:

Alabama DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Alabama   d.w.i. law in Alabama  Alabama dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in AL AL dwi laws laws about dwi in AL
Alaska DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Alaska   d.w.i. law in Alaska  Alaska dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in AK AK dwi laws laws about dwi in AK
Alberta DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Alberta   d.w.i. law in Alberta  Alberta dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in AB AB dwi laws laws about dwi in AB
Arizona DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Arizona   d.w.i. law in Arizona  Arizona dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in AZ AZ dwi laws laws about dwi in AZ
Arkansas DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Arkansas   d.w.i. law in Arkansas  Arkansas dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in AR AR dwi laws laws about dwi in AR
British Columbia DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in British Columbia   d.w.i. law in British Columbia  British Columbia dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in BC BC dwi laws laws about dwi in BC
California DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in California   d.w.i. law in California  California dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in CA CA dwi laws laws about dwi in CA
Colorado DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Colorado   d.w.i. law in Colorado  Colorado dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in CO CO dwi laws laws about dwi in CO
Connecticut DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Connecticut   d.w.i. law in Connecticut  Connecticut dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in CT CT dwi laws laws about dwi in CT
Delaware DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Delaware   d.w.i. law in Delaware  Delaware dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in DE DE dwi laws laws about dwi in DE
District of Columbia DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in District of Columbia   d.w.i. law in District of Columbia  District of Columbia dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in DC DC dwi laws laws about dwi in DC
England DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in England   d.w.i. law in England  England dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in EN EN dwi laws laws about dwi in EN
Florida DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Florida   d.w.i. law in Florida  Florida dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in FL FL dwi laws laws about dwi in FL
Georgia DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Georgia   d.w.i. law in Georgia  Georgia dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in GA GA dwi laws laws about dwi in GA
Hawaii DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Hawaii   d.w.i. law in Hawaii  Hawaii dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in HI HI dwi laws laws about dwi in HI
Idaho DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Idaho   d.w.i. law in Idaho  Idaho dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in ID ID dwi laws laws about dwi in ID
Illinois DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Illinois   d.w.i. law in Illinois  Illinois dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in IL IL dwi laws laws about dwi in IL
Indiana DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Indiana   d.w.i. law in Indiana  Indiana dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in IN IN dwi laws laws about dwi in IN
Iowa DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Iowa   d.w.i. law in Iowa  Iowa dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in IA IA dwi laws laws about dwi in IA
Kansas DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Kansas   d.w.i. law in Kansas  Kansas dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in KS KS dwi laws laws about dwi in KS
Kentucky DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Kentucky   d.w.i. law in Kentucky  Kentucky dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in KY KY dwi laws laws about dwi in KY
Louisiana DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Louisiana   d.w.i. law in Louisiana  Louisiana dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in LA LA dwi laws laws about dwi in LA
Maine DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Maine   d.w.i. law in Maine  Maine dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in ME ME dwi laws laws about dwi in ME
Manitoba DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Manitoba   d.w.i. law in Manitoba  Manitoba dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in MB MB dwi laws laws about dwi in MB
Maryland DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Maryland   d.w.i. law in Maryland  Maryland dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in MD MD dwi laws laws about dwi in MD
Massachusetts DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Massachusetts   d.w.i. law in Massachusetts  Massachusetts dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in MA MA dwi laws laws about dwi in MA
Michigan DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Michigan   d.w.i. law in Michigan  Michigan dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in MI MI dwi laws laws about dwi in MI
Minnesota DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Minnesota   d.w.i. law in Minnesota  Minnesota dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in MN MN dwi laws laws about dwi in MN
Mississippi DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Mississippi   d.w.i. law in Mississippi  Mississippi dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in MS MS dwi laws laws about dwi in MS
Missouri DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Missouri   d.w.i. law in Missouri  Missouri dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in MO MO dwi laws laws about dwi in MO
Montana DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Montana   d.w.i. law in Montana  Montana dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in MT MT dwi laws laws about dwi in MT
Nebraska DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Nebraska   d.w.i. law in Nebraska  Nebraska dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NE NE dwi laws laws about dwi in NE
Nevada DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Nevada   d.w.i. law in Nevada  Nevada dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NV NV dwi laws laws about dwi in NV
New Brunswick DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in New Brunswick   d.w.i. law in New Brunswick  New Brunswick dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NB NB dwi laws laws about dwi in NB
New Hampshire DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in New Hampshire   d.w.i. law in New Hampshire  New Hampshire dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NH NH dwi laws laws about dwi in NH
New Jersey DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in New Jersey   d.w.i. law in New Jersey  New Jersey dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NJ NJ dwi laws laws about dwi in NJ
New Mexico DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in New Mexico   d.w.i. law in New Mexico  New Mexico dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NM NM dwi laws laws about dwi in NM
New York DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in New York   d.w.i. law in New York  New York dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NY NY dwi laws laws about dwi in NY
Newfoundland DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Newfoundland   d.w.i. law in Newfoundland  Newfoundland dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NF NF dwi laws laws about dwi in NF
North Carolina DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in North Carolina   d.w.i. law in North Carolina  North Carolina dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NC NC dwi laws laws about dwi in NC
North Dakota DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in North Dakota   d.w.i. law in North Dakota  North Dakota dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in ND ND dwi laws laws about dwi in ND
Northwest Territories DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Northwest Territories   d.w.i. law in Northwest Territories  Northwest Territories dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NT NT dwi laws laws about dwi in NT
Nova Scotia DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Nova Scotia   d.w.i. law in Nova Scotia  Nova Scotia dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NS NS dwi laws laws about dwi in NS
Nunavut DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Nunavut   d.w.i. law in Nunavut  Nunavut dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in NU NU dwi laws laws about dwi in NU
Ohio DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Ohio   d.w.i. law in Ohio  Ohio dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in OH OH dwi laws laws about dwi in OH
Oklahoma DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Oklahoma   d.w.i. law in Oklahoma  Oklahoma dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in OK OK dwi laws laws about dwi in OK
Ontario DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Ontario   d.w.i. law in Ontario  Ontario dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in ON ON dwi laws laws about dwi in ON
Oregon DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Oregon   d.w.i. law in Oregon  Oregon dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in OR OR dwi laws laws about dwi in OR
Pennsylvania DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Pennsylvania   d.w.i. law in Pennsylvania  Pennsylvania dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in PA PA dwi laws laws about dwi in PA
Prince Edward Island DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Prince Edward Island   d.w.i. law in Prince Edward Island  Prince Edward Island dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in PE PE dwi laws laws about dwi in PE
Quebec DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Quebec   d.w.i. law in Quebec  Quebec dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in QC QC dwi laws laws about dwi in QC
Rhode Island DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Rhode Island   d.w.i. law in Rhode Island  Rhode Island dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in RI RI dwi laws laws about dwi in RI
Saskatchewan DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Saskatchewan   d.w.i. law in Saskatchewan  Saskatchewan dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in SK SK dwi laws laws about dwi in SK
South Carolina DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in South Carolina   d.w.i. law in South Carolina  South Carolina dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in SC SC dwi laws laws about dwi in SC
South Dakota DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in South Dakota   d.w.i. law in South Dakota  South Dakota dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in SD SD dwi laws laws about dwi in SD
Tennessee DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Tennessee   d.w.i. law in Tennessee  Tennessee dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in TN TN dwi laws laws about dwi in TN
Texas DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Texas   d.w.i. law in Texas  Texas dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in TX TX dwi laws laws about dwi in TX
Utah DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Utah   d.w.i. law in Utah  Utah dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in UT UT dwi laws laws about dwi in UT
Vermont DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Vermont   d.w.i. law in Vermont  Vermont dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in VT VT dwi laws laws about dwi in VT
Virginia DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Virginia   d.w.i. law in Virginia  Virginia dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in VA VA dwi laws laws about dwi in VA
Washington State DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Washington State   d.w.i. law in Washington State  Washington State dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in WA WA dwi laws laws about dwi in WA
West Virginia DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in West Virginia   d.w.i. law in West Virginia  West Virginia dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in WV WV dwi laws laws about dwi in WV
Wisconsin DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Wisconsin   d.w.i. law in Wisconsin  Wisconsin dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in WI WI dwi laws laws about dwi in WI
Wyoming DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Wyoming   d.w.i. law in Wyoming  Wyoming dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in WY WY dwi laws laws about dwi in WY
Yukon DWI LAWS  D.W.I. Laws in Yukon   d.w.i. law in Yukon  Yukon dwi laws D.W.I. Laws in YT YT dwi laws laws about dwi in YT