The Province of Ontario has enacted some of the toughest penalties for Impaired drivers in North America including:
Immediate Licence Suspensions, stiff fines, longer suspension periods, mandatory alcohol education and treatment programs, vehicle impoundment, and ignition interlock program.
When you drink and drive you are gambling not only with your life, but with the lives of others. It is also an expensive Gamble from a Financial Point of view, Legal Costs (estimated Range) $2,000 to $10,000 Criminal Code Fine $600.00 Back on track program $475 Licence Reinstatement Fee $100.00 Increase Insurance (estimated) $9,000 Ignition Interlock $1,300 Total Min Cost $13,475.00.
Upon conviction for a Criminal Code Impaired Driving Offence you face high fines under the HTA $5,000 to $25,000 for a first conviction $10,000 - $50,000 for subsequent offences. New drivers in the Graduated Licence category must maintain a zero Blood Alcohol Concentration while driving, if they do not adhere to this stipulation and get caught they face a 30 day-licence suspension and a fine.
Back on Track Program Persons convicted of a Drinking & Driving offence must successfully complete all three components of Ontario’s back on track alcohol education and treatment program before their licence can be reinstated. The program can take as long as 11 months to complete.
Part 1 - Assessment - determines the extent of the drinking and driving problem
Part 2 - Education or Treatment - program aimed at preventing drinking and driving
Part 3 - Follow up Interview - takes place 6 months after the education/treatment program is complete to revisit the skills obtained and goals set.
Once the licence has been reinstated an “I” condition will appear. This is the Ignition Interlock Condition. After serving the required sanctions an ignition interlock device will be installed in all motor vehicles that the offending driver operates. An ignition interlock is an in-car alcohol breath-screening device that prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects alcohol on the breath of the operator.
Once the minimum interlock period has expired the offending driver must apply to the Ministry of Transportation to have the condition removed from their licence.
Minimum Penalties First offence:
1 yr suspension, remedial measures program, 1 yr ignition interlock $600 fine
3 yr licence suspension, remedial measures program, min 3 yr Ignition interlock device, 14 day jail sentence
Lifetime licence suspension, (Can be reduced to 10yrs) remedial measures program, ignition interlock for life, 90 day jail sentence.
Lifetime suspension no reinstatement, 90 day jail time.
Bill 209 has given police services across Ontario another tool in their efforts to reduce deaths and injuries on our waterways. This new legislation provides police officers with authority to suspend driver's licences (12 hour suspension) and issue an 90 day Administrative Driver’s Licence Suspension (ADLS) if the boat operator registers a fail on a breath test.
Upon conviction of Impaired Operation of a Vessel or Operation in Excess 80 mgs. of alcohol, the courts now have the authority to suspend the person’s driver's licence for a minimum of one year.
The Ignition Interlock Program will also apply when a conviction is registered.