Refusal or Failure to Provide a Blood / Breath Sample
Section 254(5) of the Criminal Code makes it a criminal offence to refuse or fail to provide a sample of your breath or blood upon a lawful demand made by a peace officer. This applies to failing or refusing to provide a sample into either a roadside screening device, or an evidentiary instrument at the police station.
While Refusing a sample and Failing to provide a sample both fall under s. 254(5) of the Criminal Code, there is a slight difference between the two. Refusing a sample refers to situations where you are required to provide a sample, and you simply refuse by words or actions that amount to ‘no I will not do it’. Failing to provide a sample refers to a situation where you make multiple attempts to blow into a device, but you do not blow adequately enough to register a reading.
Because a refusal or failure can be caused by legitimate reasons, this charge can be defended by demonstrating that you had a reasonable excuse for the failure or refusal. For example, a reasonable excuse and defence to this charge would be that you had some sort of medical condition that prevented you from blowing hard enough to provide a sample.
Note that as with Over 80, a charge for refusal can also be accompanied by a charge for impaired driving. In order to avoid a criminal conviction, both charges will need to be defended at trial.
Defending a Refusal Charge
Defending an Impaired Driving, Over 80, or Refusal charge is a complicated and nuanced process that requires a significant amount of training and experience. To ensure that you have the best chance possible at defending your charges, contact our Edmonton office as soon as possible. We will be able to use our skill and experience to quickly determine what defences may be available to you, and we will be able to advise you on the best way to proceed.
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