The Penalties And Consequences Of An Impaired Driving Charge And Conviction

The penalty for being found guilty of Impaired Driving is the same as being found guilty of Over 80, which is the same as Refusal to Blow.

The first impact will be either a fine or a jail sentence. For a first offence, there is a minimum $600 fine. For a second offense, there is a minimum sentence of 14 days in jail and for each subsequent offence, there is a minimum jail sentence of at least 90 days

In addition to that, there will be a prohibition of driving a motor vehicle anywhere in Canada and for a first offense that prohibition of driving will be for at least one year, up to three years. For a second offense, it will be at least two years up to possible five years that you are prohibited from driving, and for any subsequent offense, there is at least a three year driving prohibition.

The Province of Ontario will suspend your Ontario driver’s license, too, and it is usually for the same period of time as the court’s prohibition. You will also have to take a remedial driving course, which is offered by the province and you have to complete that before they will give your license back.

Also, if you do get your license back, then you will also have to obtain and have installed and pay for an ignition interlock system. After you have served your prohibition and suspension for a first offense, you are going to have to have an ignition interlock system installed in your car for one year. If it’s a second offense, the ignition interlock system will be installed for three years, and for a third offense, it’s a minimum of 10 years. If it’s your fourth offense, it doesn’t matter because your license is gone.

Those are the penalties the province imposes. You also have to consider your automobile insurance. Insurers will consider you an extremely high risk and they are going to put you in a category that will bump up your premiums by thousands of dollars per year. Also, once you’ve been convicted of Impaired or Over 80, you now have a criminal record, and in addition, if you are ever found guilty of the same or similar offense again, then you have a prior conviction and are now up to the second offense categories.

Remember, too, that when you are charged, whether guilty or not, the province will impose an Administrative Driver’s License Suspension and your license will be immediately suspended for three months. The one year suspension by the court for a first offence does not take this three month penalty into account, so your license could actually be suspended for 15 months in total.


If you, or someone you care about, is dealing with criminal law issues in the Newmarket, Ontario Region, contact Hobson & Reeve Barrsiters for a consultation.

This article is taken from a November 6, 2007 interview with Dennis J. Reeve LL.B., Criminal Lawyer with Hobson & Reeve, Newmarket, Ontario Criminal Lawyers. Note that laws vary from province to province. Please consult with a lawyer in your own area to be sure of the laws and specific issues in your own jurisdiction.