Being Charged with Impaired Driving Is Not That Serious? Right?

Some people might mistakenly assume an impaired driving charge is only a minor criminal offence. However, what these people do not realize is the law views this type offence as rather serious. You were behind the wheel of a motorized vehicle and driving while under impairment.

You not only were putting your own life at risk, but also the lives of other pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists on the road. To give you an idea of how serious the law regards impaired driving offences, it is a good idea to review the potential punishments if one is convicted and found guilty of the offence.

According to the Criminal Code of Canada, Section 255(1) is as follows:

Every one who commits an offence under Section 253 or 254 is guilty of an indictable offence or and offence punishable on summary conviction and is liable,

  • Whether the offence is prosecuted by indictment or punishable on summary conviction, to the following minimum punishment, namely,
  • For a first offence, to a fine of not less than $1,000,
  • For a second offence, to imprisonment for not less than 30 days, and
  • For each subsequent offence, to imprisonment for not less than 120 days;
  • Where the offence is prosecuted by indictment, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years; and
  • If the offence is punishable on summary conviction, to imprisonment for a term of not more than 18 months.

As evident based upon the Criminal Code, even for a first-time offender, there is a fine of at least $1,000. It is also important to keep in mind, aside from fines and potential imprisonment periods, there are several other consequences of driving under the influence. These could include, but may not be limited to:

  • License Suspension/Revocation
  • Driver Education Courses
  • Increase Insurance Rates
  • Loss of Time from Work
  • License Reinstatement Fees
  • Interlock Device Installation and Monitoring Fees
  • Vehicle Towing and Impound Fees

A conviction for an impaired driving offence is also recorded on your criminal record. This could make it more difficult to travel abroad. Some countries will prohibit you from entering their country even when the only offence on your record is for impaired driving.

Hopefully, now you can see that an impaired driving offence is a serious offence you should be concerned about. Even though you might feel like the prosecution has a solid case against you, this is not always an accurate assessment.

In prior cases, some of my clients’ rights were violated in some manner, so this provided a viable strategy to defend against their charges. In other cases, the clients were not actually impaired due to alcohol or drugs.

For these reasons, it is always in your bests interests to consult with a qualified Toronto criminal defence lawyer to discuss your different options and strategies. Please feel free to contact me, Jeff Hershberg, at 416-428-7360 to arrange a consultation appointment today.