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REFUSE BREATH ANALYSIS / ALTER CONCENTRATION
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REFUSE BREATH ANALYSIS & 
ALTER CONCENTRATION

Refuse Breath Test:

When a driver is stopped by police and requested to submit to a roadside breath test, the driver is required by law to provide a sample of their breath for initial testing. Generally, police will use a passive test which requires a person to simply speak for a few seconds resulting in an indication whether alcohol is present in the drivers breath. If the passive test reveals that alcohol is present, police will require you to submit to a direct test which involves blowing a sample into their Alcolizer devices through a tube. If this direct test is positive, police will place the driver under arrest and escort them to the nearest Police Station for a Breath Analysis test. If the driver refuses to comply with the police form of demand to provide a sample of their breath, police will arrest the driver and escort them to a Police Station as if they have provided a positive sample.

In summary, a driver is detained if they provide a positive sample or if they refuse to provide a sample. The driver will still have an opportunity to provide a breath sample at the Police Station if they refuse the roadside test.

Refuse Breath Analysis:

A person is guilty of a breath analysis offence if that person was the driver of a motor vehicle on a public road, has undergone a roadside breath test and returned a positive reading and when required to submit to breath analysis at a Police Station, either refuses or fails to provide a sufficient sample for analysis, without reasonable excuse.

 

It is not a defence to refuse or fail a breath analysis on the basis that you wanted to seek legal advice before providing a sample for breath analysis.

Alter Concentration of Alcohol in Blood:

The offence of Wilfully Alter Blood Alcohol Concentration is committed when a driver who has consumed intoxicating liquor then takes specific steps between the time of driving and the time in which they are tested in order to alter their actual Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) reading.

The most common example where an offence of Wilfully Alter Blood Alcohol Concentration occurs is when a driver is stopped by police and then begins consuming water to dilute their sample.

 

Another example would include a driver involved in a motor vehicle collision who begins consuming alcohol afterwards and then suggests that they were sober at the time of the crash.

Police may lay charges against a driver for the offence of Wilfully Altering their Blood Alcohol Concentration reading if they can prove the driver altered the concentration of alcohol in their body between the time of driving and the time of testing.

Both Refusing a Breath Test/Analysis and Altering your BAC are considered to be extremely serious types of offences and are deemed as serious as a High Range PCA offence or a refuse or fail breath analysis offence which carry significant penalties and sentences at the Courts disposal.

Table of Penalties for Refuse Breath Analysis / Alter Concentration:

Penalty

First offence

Second or subsequent offence

Maximum court- imposed fine

$3,300

$5,500

Maximum prison term

18 Months

2 Years

Minimum disqualification

12 Months

2 Years

Maximum disqualification

Unlimited

Unlimited

Automatic disqualification (disqualification period that applies in the absence of a specific court order)

3 Years

5 Years

Immediate licence suspension

Yes

Yes

Subject to an alcohol interlock order

Yes

Yes

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