Consequences Of An Impaired Driving Conviction

We have asked several of Lawyershop’s experts on Criminal Law to bring you their insights into Impaired Driving charges and their consequences.

Aside from the mandatory minimum penalties prescribed by the Criminal Code for an Impaired Driving conviction, the accused faces other serious problems. With a criminal record, doors to jobs or travel may well be closed. A person could lose a job because he or she cannot drive a car for a year. In most provinces, the charge alone results in a driving prohibition for a period of some months. Our experts outline some of the other consequences of an Impaired Driving conviction.


Bruce Engel:

The financial consequences are also serious, resulting from fines, legal fees, the extra cost of insurance and possible loss of income. One expert calculated the lifetime cost of a one drunk driving conviction as ranging between $50,000 and $60,000.

Dennis Reeve:

Once you’ve been convicted of Impaired or Over 80, you now have a criminal record that can prevent you from pursuing certain careers or even keeping your job. 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 you your license back.

Bruce Engel:

A criminal record may pose problems in traveling overseas or crossing the border to the United States. A criminal record could affect your status in the community.

Edward Prutschi:

In Ontario there is a defined surcharge tagged on top of the initial fine, which brings the cost up again. Your insurance premium will bring the cost up even higher because insurance companies increase premiums by about three to five times for a conviction of impaired driving. When you look at that over 3 to 5 years, depending on your insurance company, the financial cost of an impaired driving charge is very high.

Kevin Filkow:

Kevin Filkow summarizes our experts’ comments in this way: If a client is convicted of an impaired driving charge, there are consequences relating to employment, to travel, and to insurance costs, and a criminal record. Financially, emotionally, and in terms of future concerns and considerations, an Impaired Driving conviction is a costly event, so the best advice is to treat it seriously.

This material has been compiled from interviews with the following 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.

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