Impaired Driving Penalties

Impaired Driving Penalties In Ontario

If you are convicted for impaired driving in an Ontario court, you will likely face the following penalties:

1. Criminal conviction. Record of your photo’s and fingerprints.
2. Driver’s license suspension For 1 full year
3. High fines amounts you will be required to pay
4. Installation of an ignition interlock system in your vehicle for 1 year at your expense
5. Required to take a relicense programme (Back On Track) with the Ministry of Transportation before license reinstatement.
6. You may be required to be insured with facility insurance which may have premiums an excess of $10,000/year for several years!
7. You may be denied entry into the US and countries abroad.

Impaired Driving Penalties for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd + offences:

Impaired Driving Penalties for a 1st offence include: a minimum fine of $1,000.00, plus the victim fine surcharge; a minimum one-year driving prohibition.  Installation of an alcohol ignition interlock device at your expense, possible criminal record for life, Back On Track programme with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, possible facility insurance with premiums that can start at $10,000 for several years.
For a second offence: a minimum jail sentence of 30 days; a minimum three-year driving prohibition, plus the other impaired driving penalties listed for a 1st offence.
For a third offence and subsequent offences: a minimum jail sentence of 120 days; a driving prohibition of at least three years; or a possible lifetime suspension.  (A life time suspension means you will NEVER be able to legally drive again) plus the other impaired driving penalties listed for a 1st offence.

Impaired Driving Penalties have consistently become more severe over the last 10 years in Ontario including higher fines, longer court imposed driving prohibitions. You will likely face even harsher impaired driving penalties if your reading was over twice the legal limit. (Over 160 mgs)

One of the reasons for impaired driving penalties becoming more severe in recent years is due to active organizations such as MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving)  Some of the most severe penalties may now include charging impaired drivers with death by criminal negligence if the driver caused death in a motor vehicle accident from impaired driving.

Non Canadian Residents should also fight their impaired driving charges due to the fact that certain provinces such as Ontario are on a reciprocal enforcement treaty with several US states.  The Ontario Ministry of Transportation will likely notify the DMV with impaired driving convictions registered against such drivers in some US states including New York and Michigan.

Impaired driving penalties – Permanent criminal record for the rest of your life!

If you are convicted with impaired driving in Ontario, you will receive a criminal record for life which will likely NEVER go away.  Some convicted impaired drivers have been able to use pardons to erase their impaired driving convictions for drinking and driving, however, politicians are fighting the legislation and pardons may no longer be granted for impaired driving convictions.  A criminal record may severely affect your ability to be hired by a future employer if the employer runs a background check and sees the criminal record.  For example, it will virtually be impossible to be employed in Ontario as a police officer, firefighter, government employee, teacher, nurse, and other professional jobs.

Impaired driving penalties – Travelling restrictions

A criminal record may even result in being denied entry into certain countries or being red flagged at immigration.  Many countries are NOT allowing people with criminal records to enter.  If you are convicted of impaired driving, the RCMP will retain your fingerprints and photograph.  This is why it is important to hire an experienced criminal record that handles impaired driving cases.  If the impaired driving lawyer is able to win or plea bargain your case, he/she will know how to request removal of your photographs and fingerprints by the RCMP.

Impaired driving penalties – Immigration and Canadian Citizenship application

If you are a permanent resident or a landed immigrant in Canada, it could cause a delay in receiving your citizenship.  You may be deported if you are on a temporary work permit, student visa or a landed immigrant.  An impaired driving lawyer will likely be able to prevent these ramifications from occurring.

Impaired Driving penalties – Insurance hikes

One of the most costly impaired driving penalties will be your auto insurance rate.  Your car insurance policy will likely be cancelled or skyrocket with an impaired driving conviction.  If your auto insurance company cancels your policy you will likely be required to obtain facility insurance which is for high-risk drivers.  In Ontario there are only a small handful of insurance companies will insure drivers with facility insurance.  Facility insurance premiums may start at $10,000/year for several years!  This equates to over $30,000 in insurance premiums in just three years as a result of an impaired driving conviction.  Some insurance companies may hold this record for over 5 years.

Another important impaired driving penalty that many people are not aware of is the fact that most insurance companies will NOT cover any of the damages as a result of the accident.  This includes the damages and monies paid out to other people involved in the accident as a result of impaired driving civil suits.  This is why you need an experienced impaired driving lawyer that can help you win your impaired driving charge.