Are cars and motorcycles the only types of vehicles that can land you a DUI?

Within the Canadian Criminal Code, the offence of Driving under the Influence is not just limited to driving a vehicle. The offence itself can encompass a wide variety of vehicles, such as the usual motor vehicles, but also ATVs, motorcycles, and expand to such things as motor boats or snow mobiles. Meaning that even if you are simply driving a snow mobile and are pulled over, if you have been drinking you will be arrested on the charge of driving under the influence if you are above the legal limit.
With regards to a Driving under the Influence charge, like any other criminal charge, the Crown (otherwise known as the prosecutors) must be able to prove their case before the courts beyond a reasonable doubt. This means that before they proceed with your case they must be confident that there is reasonable prospect that they can prove all elements of the infraction. Specifically when it comes to a DUI conviction this means the prosecutor in your case must be able to prove that not only were you driving, but that you were impaired by drugs or alcohol at the time. It is the job of the defense lawyer then to counteract this and raise grounds of reasonable doubt that you are not guilty of the charge you are faced with. Therefore if the defense could provide reasonable doubt on either of the two points, whether you were driving the vehicle, whether you were impaired, or both, then you cannot be convicted of a DUI.

Depending on your story there is a huge assortment of defenses that can be used to defend you from this criminal charge. However, each defense must be tailored to your specific fact set and you have to keep in mind depending on your circumstances they may not work in your case. A defense lawyer must review your file carefully looking for these openings to push for a grain of reasonable doubt. Some examples of details often looked at are the arrest procedures, the taking of the breathalyzer or blood tests, and importantly if any of your guaranteed rights under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms have been violated. There are also specific defenses that can be used. One such defense is known as the bolus drinking defense, or the “last drink” defense, made famous by the case of R v. Piuze. The gist of this defense is that if a driver consumes a large amount of alcohol just before driving (for example taking shots before hitting the road) and they are stopped soon after, the argument states that the alcohol would not have had enough time to be absorbed into their blood stream, so their actual reading while driving may fall below the legal limit of 0.08, despite the high reading. The key to this argument then becomes the timing of the last and large alcohol intake.
To conclude, it is important to note that ignorance of the law can never be a defense. Though you may not be a lawyer, as a Canadian it is important for you to know at least generally your rights, and the laws country and province wide. Laws are there for our own protection, and it is important to know when you have to co-operate when you must and respect the laws of the country. If you are ever stopped by the police it is always important to remain calm and follow the given instructions to the best of your ability. You should remember that it is within purview of the police to pull you over to ensure that you meet the requirements necessary to drive (for example to see if you license is valid or not). It is not true that the police must have evidence of your impairment before they pull you over. If you are stopped your rights do come into play at a certain moment.
For any further clarification of your rights or if you have questions pertaining to an active DUI file do not hesitate to contact us and speak to one of our highly trained lawyers.