Here are five tips to help you win your case if you have been charged with a drinking and driving offence in Ontario:

1.  Make an appointment to discuss your case with a good impaired driving lawyer (or several lawyers) as soon as possible. You do not have to use the lawyer you picked off the list at the police station when you were arrested. Instead, find a criminal lawyer who focuses on DUI cases.

2. Write down everything you remember as soon as possible.  Document where you were, who you were with, what you ate, and exactly what you drank.  This includes documenting the type of drinks you consumed, its alcohol content, the size of glass you used, and the timing of each drink.  At the top of each page write “to my lawyer” to make sure your notes are protected by solicitor-client privilege.  Do not show or give your notes to anyone except your lawyer.

3. Preserve any receipts and credit card slips from bars or restaurants.

4.  Exercise your right to silence.  Do not discuss the case with anyone except your lawyer.  If the police contact you, politely decline to make any statements unless your lawyer advises you otherwise. If you car insurer contacts your, get advice from a criminal lawyer before discussing what happened.

5.  Do not discuss the case or compare notes with potential witnesses.  Otherwise, it may be suggested that you tainted the witnesses’ memories. Do provide the names and contact information of all potential witnesses to your criminal lawyer.