Impaired Driving ConsequencesOctober 3, 2023
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Impaired Driving Consequences
In Canada, impaired driving is a criminal offence. A person can be convicted when there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of impairment. Evidence can include: not driving in a straight line,driving too slow or too fast, not able to perform simple tasks when asked to do so by a police officer, blood shot eyes, slurred speech, smell of alcohol on the breath, failing the breathalyser test, and a blood alcohol level above the legal limit.\’ When one is convicted of impaired driving, there are serious consequences.
The Criminal Code sets minimum penalties that the judge must impose for the offences of impaired driving, refusing to provide a blood or breath sample without a lawful excuse, and driving with a blood alcohol content over 80. As well, the judge can hand down other penalties.
The minimum punishment for driving while impaired in Canada includes:
First Offence: Fine of at least $600, prohibition from driving for at least 1 year and up to 3 years
Second Offence: At least 14 days in prison, prohibition from driving for at least 2 years and up to 5 years
Subsequent Offences: At least 90 days in prison, prohibition from driving for at least 3 years and up to a lifetime ban.
There are provinces where a judge can reduce the time a first offender is prohibited from driving if the offender participates in an alcohol ignition interlock program. This is when a driver can t start or run a vehicle unless he or she provides a breath sample that is acceptable. Before starting the vehicle, one must blow into the device. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start.
If you are convicted of impaired driving, you will have a criminal record. You picture and fingerprints will be held by the RCMP in Ottawa. If the police check your record, your criminal record will always be displayed. A criminal record could restrict your travel, put your job in jeopardy, or prevent you from getting a specific job.
An impaired driving conviction will cause your car insurance premiums to drastically increase, or you could be dropped by your insurance carrier. You can also have your driver s license suspended which could affect your job. The suspension may also result in an imposition of an insurance surcharge. In Ontario, drivers convicted of impaired driving offences must complete a remedial program at a cost of nearly $600.00 before licence reinstatement.
When an impaired driver injures a person, the driver can be charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm. Impaired driving causing bodily harm is an indictable offence with a maximum punishment of 10 years in prison. When an impaired driver causes the death of a person, the driver can be charged with impaired driving causing death. This is an indictable offence with a maximum punishment of life imprisonment.
As you can see, impaired driving is a criminal offence with serious consequences. The best decision is to avoid driving while impaired. If charged with impaired driving, it is critical to seek legal counsel because of the serious consequences of a conviction.
X-Copper Legal Services Professional Corporation serving Ontario. 939 Eglinton Avenue East Toronto, ON M4G 4E8 (416) 696-6677