Suppose I have a drink, then drive home after an hour. If I get stopped at a police ride check, I usually say I have not consumed any alcohol, because I don't want to take a breathalyzer test or risk the small chance of blowing just over the limit. What crimes, if any, am I committing by lying to the police in this case? What are the punishments? Is this crime often prosecuted? I'm specifically wondering about Canada.

Note: Drunk driving is obviously bad, and I don't do it. This question is not about "how to get away with drunk driving", but rather about the consequences of lying to police about having one or two drinks, which I assume many people do.

  • FYI, while this would probably be a crime (lying to a police officer about a material matter or something like that), it wouldn't be perjury, as it wouldn't be a statement made under oath.
    – ohwilleke
    Jul 27 at 0:49

You’ll get caught in the lie

Since 2018, Canada has had mandatory alcohol screening which means the police can demand a breath test from anyone they have stopped irrespective of if they suspect they have been drinking or not.

Now, while there are no legal consequences for lying to a police officer in this way (because it does not rise to obstruction of justice or obstruction of a peace officer), human nature being what it is, doing so and being caught is likely to cause the officer to suspect your motives and might prolong the traffic stop. Since there isn’t a vehicle anywhere that can’t be defected for something if you look hard enough, you might not want that.

  • It would clearly be better not to say anything to police. So many problems with police could be avoided by the spontaneous development of selective muteism
    – Neil Meyer
    Jul 31 at 17:31

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