Impaired Driving Conviction & Your Insurance

Wednesday August 17, 2016

Category: Auto


According to Statistics Canada, 15,280 Ontarians were convicted of Impaired Driving 2015. An Impaired Driving Conviction is the result of operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

Impaired Driving Penalties

If you are found to be driving under the influence, you’ll find yourself dealing with significant repercussions. Under the Criminal Code of Canada, you may face any of the following penalties:

For repeat offenders, the penalties can be even more severe. Repeat offenders can even face a Lifetime License Suspension. It’s also important to remember that, if convicted, you will now have a Criminal Record. With a criminal record, you’ll face many other challenges unrelated to driving. A criminal record can limit your ability to travel internationally or find work in industries where criminal record check has become standard.

Driving with Blood-Alcohol Concentration over 0.08 is a criminal offence.

Many Ontario drivers are surprised to learn that they can also face similarly severe penalties for impaired driving of a:

So, whether you are planning to be on the road, trail or water, it’s important to be aware of the laws.

Fighting a Conviction

To avoid a conviction, some people choose to seek legal counsel and fight the charge. If you fight the charge, you must still adhere to any roadside penalties such as a license suspension. A roadside suspension will still appear on your driving record and will affect your insurance rate. However, you may prevent further penalties and insurance increases if you are successful in your case.

Important: A Warn Range Suspension may be issued if you register a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08. A Warn Range Suspension is not a criminal offense but can still have an impact on your insurance premium.

How a Conviction Impacts Your Insurance & Ability to Drive

If you are convicted of Impaired Driving, you’ll be required to adhere to the penalties according to your offence. Depending on your situation, you may be eligible to drive again as early as 1 year from the date of your conviction. And, if you’re eligible for the Reduced Suspension Ignition Interlock Program, you may be back on the road in as little as 3 months. However, the charge will remain on your record and can affect your insurance for up to 6 years from the date of your conviction.

The best way to combat high fees associated with a conviction is to adhere to your court-mandated penalties and keep a clean driving record after your conviction. Most importantly, when you practice good driving habits, you’ll be helping keep you, your passengers and other drivers safe.

Tips to Avoid Impaired Driving

To find out more about Impaired Driving in Ontario, visit the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario’s website:

Ministry of Transportation of Ontario


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