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Traffic Tickets

Impaired Driving – DUI

TRAFFIC TICKETS SOLUTIONS

Drinking and driving is a very serious offence, and being charged with impaired driving and/or a related offence can be life-altering. Unlike other Highway Traffic Act offences, drinking and driving-related offenses are criminal offences and, consequently, criminal sanctions are attached to them that can result in a criminal record and even imprisonment. A criminal record could impact your life in various ways such as higher insurance rates, having a negative impact on your employment, and even being denied entry at foreign borders. It is important to seek out professional advice in these matters so you can be assured that your charge is dealt with fully and competently.

We have a great team: a lawyer, paralegal and administrative staff ready to provide you with a free consultation and offer you the guidance you require through this difficult time. Since every case is unique, a personalized quote can only be provided after our paralegal or lawyer has reviewed the facts of your case. We offer competitive prices and some of the best representation in Toronto.

Impaired Driving / Driving Under The Influence

Impaired driving means that your ability to operate a motor vehicle is affected by either alcohol or drugs or both. In Ontario, if you are found to be driving in this condition, you face criminal charges where you could lose your licence, face jail time, and pay stiff fines.

Over 80 mg

If a breath sample results in readings which are over the legal limit of 80 mg a criminal charge will be laid against you.

Refusing to Provide a Breath Sample

If a police officer has asked that you provide a breath sample and you refuse to do so, you will be charged with a criminal offence. If you are convicted, the consequences are the same as those for impaired driving. Furthermore, in Ontario, you will face an immediate roadside suspension for failure to provide a breath sample.

Penalties For All Drinking And Driving Related Offences:

For a first offence:

  • A minimum fine of $1,000;
  • A minimum one-year driving prohibition;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one year at a cost of approximately $1,500;
  • Mandatory attendance of the Back on Track remedial measure program at a cost of $475;
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150

For a second offence :

  • Mandatory three year driving prohibition;
  • Mandatory 30 day jail term;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for three years at your cost of approximately $1,500;
  • Mandatory attendance of the Back on Track remedial measure program at a cost of $475;
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150

For a third or subsequent offense:

  • Life time suspension of license;
  • 120 day jail term;
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for your lifetime at your cost of approximately $1,500;
  • Attending the Back on Track remedial measure program at a cost of $475;
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150


Jump to additional areas of interest on impaired driving:

Impaired Driving Penalties

Drinking and driving is a very serious offence, and being charged with impaired driving and/or a related offence can be life-altering. Unlike other Highway Traffic Act offences, drinking and driving-related offences are criminal offences and, consequently, criminal sanctions are attached to them that can result in a criminal record and even imprisonment. Below is a complete list of penalties associated with any drinking and driving offence (impaired driving, over 80 mg, or refusing to provide a breath sample).

For a first offence

  • A minimum fine of $1,000
  • A minimum 1 year driving prohibition
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for one year at a cost of approximately $1,500
  • Mandatory attendance of the Back on Track remedial measure program at a cost of $475
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150

For a second offence

  • Mandatory 3 year driving prohibition
  • Mandatory 30 day jail term
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device in your vehicle for three years at your cost of approximately $1,500
  • Mandatory attendance of the Back on Track remedial measure program at a cost of $475
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150

For a third or subsequent offence

  • Life time suspension of licence
  • 120 day jail term
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for your lifetime at your cost of approximately $1,500
  • Attending the Back on Track remedial measure program at a cost of $475
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150

Back on Track Program

Anyone who has been convicted of a drinking and driving related offence or has received more than one roadside licence suspension for a blood alcohol level from 0.05 – 0.08 will be required to enroll in the Back on Track remedial measure program at his or her own expense. The cost of this program is $578 plus GST.

  1. Medical assessment
  2. Education or treatment
  3. Follow-up interview

The medical assessment will determine the existence and/or the extent of your drinking problem and check for any signs of alcoholism.

The educational component of the program focuses on how alcohol and drugs affect drivers and their driving performance. The effects on safety as well as the legal and personal implications of an impaired driving charge are discussed.

The treatment component of the program focuses on taking responsibility for your actions, the consequences of alcohol abuse and preventative measures for the future.

The follow-up interview will take place 6 months after the completion of the education or treatment components of the programs and will assess the success of these components along with different strategies for future prevention.

For your licence to be reinstated, you must successfully complete the Back on Track program before the end of your suspension period. The entire program can take up to 11 months to complete, so impaired drivers should register for the course immediately if convicted.

Ignition Interlock Program

Anyone who has been convicted of a drinking and driving related offence or has received more than one roadside licence suspension for a blood alcohol level from 0.05 – 0.08 three or more times in a five year period will be subject to the Ignition Interlock Program at his or her own cost. Installation alone is approximately $1,500 and the associated inspection and maintenance fees are around $100 per month from the time the device is installed in your car.

The ignition interlock device is essentially an in-car breathalyzer that is connected to the engine and prevents a vehicle from starting if a blood alcohol level of over 0.02 is detected.

Criminal Record

Please be aware, if you are convicted of impaired driving or a related criminal offence, this will lead to a criminal record. A criminal charge will show up on your record for at least 10 years. After the 10 years, you may apply for a pardon, but there is no guarantee you will be granted one and it can take another year or two to obtain. Consequently, it is important that you consult with reputable representatives in dealing with your matter.

A criminal record could impact your life in various ways such as, higher insurance rates, having a negative impact on your employment, and even being denied entry at foreign borders. It is important to seek out professional advice in these matters so you can be assured that your charge is dealt with fully and competently.

Warning Range 0.05 – 0.08

As of May 1, 2009, the Province of Ontario has enacted tougher new laws as an attempt to reduce drinking and driving-related offences. If you take a roadside breath sample and your blood alcohol registers between 0.05 and 0.08 you will immediately lose your licence for between 3 to 30 days. While this is not a criminal offence, the consequences are still serious.

For a first offence

  • Mandatory 3 day driving prohibition
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150

For a second offence (within 5 years)

  • Mandatory 7 day driving prohibition
  • Mandatory attendance of the Back on Track remedial measure program at a cost of $475
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150

For a third offence (within 5 years)

  • Mandatory 30 day driving prohibition
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device >for 6 months at your cost of approximately $1,500
  • Attending the Back on Track remedial measure program at a cost of $475
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150

For subsequent offences (within 5 years)

  • Mandatory 30 day driving prohibition
  • Installation of an ignition interlock device for 6 months at your cost of approximately $1,500
  • Attending the Back on Track remedial measure program at a cost of $475
  • Mandatory medical evaluation
  • An administrative monetary penalty of $150

If you are caught driving a motor vehicle while your licence is suspended, you will face further repercussions such as, fines ranging from $500 to $50,000, the immediate impounding of the vehicle you are driving, and liability for any charges incurred from the impoundment, including but not limited to towing costs, impound fees and additional rental fees if the vehicle you were driving was rented. Overall, this can end up being a very costly experience.

Insurance Implications of Impaired Driving

Not only does impaired driving carry a criminal record along with many other fines, fees and implications, it would also have a drastic impact on your car insurance.

Every insurance company varies in how they set their insurance premiums and have different policies, but all refer to your Driver’s Abstract (driving record) to determine insurance rates. Having an impaired driving criminal offence on your driving record will generally result in an insurance company canceling your insurance coverage for up to 3 years from the date of your conviction. If they choose to insure you after the 3 years, premiums can be double or triple what you were paying before the impaired driving charge. There are non-profit insurance organizations that will insure a person, no matter what their record is like, but the rate is assessed on a case by case basis and a criminal charge of impaired driving will cost a driver up to four times what they were initially paying for insurance! In this economy, the insurance implications alone are likely going to add up to more than hiring a lawyer to defend you in court.

If there was an accident involved with your impaired driving charge, it is likely that any accident claim will be denied meaning that any damage to the accused person’s car would not be covered by the insurance company and all claims for damages will be void. Insurance companies are still responsible for third party coverage to any other car involved in the collision, but they have the right to sue you for the amount paid out to the third parties.

At Traffic Ticket Solutions, we have a great team: a lawyer, paralegal and administrative staff ready to provide you with a free consultation and offer you the guidance you require through this difficult time. Since every case is unique, a personalized quote can only be provided after our lawyer has reviewed the facts of your case.

Public Outreach: Preventative Options

Many people may be wondering why Traffic Ticket Solutions is spending a lot of its time with public awareness and education for DUI offences. The fact of the matter is that drinking and driving kills hundreds of people every year. We strongly believe that there are some things in life that are more important than money. We are always striving to operate in the most moral and ethical manners possible and would love the day that we would not be required to offer services for DUI any longer. The majority of our clients that retain us for DUI cases feel that they have either been wrongly accused or that there were errors made in the charges laid against them.

At Traffic Ticket Solutions, every client that retains us for a DUI matter receives a full information package with places they can turn to for help, increase their awareness along with education and options to help them make better decisions in the future. All of this information is also listed in detail at the bottom of this page for reference for the general public to assist in the movement to stop drinking and driving.

Think before you drink and research the below options — we challenge you to make the right decisions about drinking and driving and put us out of business!

Preventative Options

1.888.Taxi.Guy1-888-TAXIGUY has 17,500 taxicabs operating under this single phone number and is available in over 700 cities and towns across Canada.They have harnessed the power of telecommunication technology to create one of the most unique and powerful drinking and driving solutions in the world.

Taxi Dollars is their newest program to promote taxicab use across the country and help eliminate drinking and driving.

Eco-cab
The environmentally friendly, pedal-powered taxi fleet known for providing free rides to consumers while reducing traffic congestion and the cities carbon footprint along with offering a free ride option for anyone who has been drinking.

Fun Alcohol-Free Drink Recipes

Friends Don’t Let Friends Drive Drunk

8 Tips For Helping Prevent Drinking and Driving

Education and Information

Back on Track Program
The education program helps participants learn about:

  • Understand how alcohol and other drugs affect driving performance and safety
  • The legal and personal consequences of an impaired driving conviction
  • Ways to avoid to drinking and driving

The treatment program helps participants to:

  • How alcohol and other drugs affect driving performance and safety
  • Learn about, and take responsibility for, their alcohol and drug use and its consequences
  • Commit to reducing or stopping problem use of alcohol and drugs
  • Plan to avoid relapses and make healthier choices
  • Ways to avoid drinking and driving
  • Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse
    CCSA provides access to a range of information and analysis relating to substance abuse issues, and connects Canadians to a broad spectrum of networks and activities.
  • FACE Project
    Supports sensible alcohol policies and practices through the development of messages, strategies and training designed to create public awareness and action on alcohol issues. FACE envisions a nation where public policy, community organizations and individuals come together to reduce the negative effects of underage drinking and the misuse and abuse of alcohol by adults.
  • Impaired Driving Knowledge Quiz

Statistics

Impaired Traffic Fatality Statistics

DUI FAQs

What are the penalties for a drinking and driving charge?

Before you plead guilty to any drinking and driving offence, be sure that you know what the penalties are that you will be facing. All drinking and driving related offences (over 80 mg, impaired driving, failure to supply breath sample) are criminal offences and you will receive a criminal record if you plead guilty or are found guilty of your drinking and driving offence. You could also be facing high fines, licence suspensions, insurance premium increases or cancellation, and possible jail time. For full details on the penalties you could be facing, please visit our DUI Penalties page.

If I plead guilty to the offence right away, will there be any advantages over pleading not guilty?

When you enter a plea of guilty to any offence, you are accepting the penalties that are associated to that offence. For any DUI offence this means you will be facing all of the penalties associated with drinking and driving including, but not limited to a criminal record, possible jail time, attendance of the Back on Track program, Ignition Interlock program, and high fine amounts. The fine amount may be able to be negotiated on with an initial plea of guilt, but looking at everything you could be facing if found guilty, the fine amount is likely the least of your worries. The only way to know for sure what the best course of action should be for your specific case is to consult with a professional.

Is failing to provide a breath sample a criminal offence also?

Yes. If you refuse or fail to provide a breath sample when requested by a police officer, you can be charged with failure to supply breath sample which is a criminal offence and would face the same penalties as any other drinking and driving related offence.

Why is my insurance company refusing to pay for the damages to my car from an accident while I was drinking and driving?

If you were in an accident as a result of drinking and driving, it is likely that your insurance company will deny any claim made and not cover any of the costs involved in fixing or replacing your vehicle. Any damage to the third party vehicle involved will be covered by the insurance company, but they have the right to sue you for this amount paid out to the third party if you are found guilty of the drinking and driving offence. Further information can be found on our DUI Insurance Implications page.

I blew over the legal limit. This means I am guilty, right?

Not necessarily. The breathalyzer results are only a small portion of the evidence that can be used against you in court and this evidence is required to be properly completed by the officer(s) and fulfill many conditions. Since a breathalyzer is a mechanical device, it is also subject to specific testing procedures which need to be proved that were completed properly. There are many defences to a drinking and driving charge that only a professional that focuses on impaired driving cases would even think about looking into. Just because a case seems hopeless to you does not mean that it is hopeless. Before you plead guilty, be sure to speak to a professional for legal advice!

I don’t think I was impaired at all, but I still got an over 80 charge. Why did they charge me with this?

Over 80 mg and impaired driving are two separate charges but are both criminal offences. Just because you were charged with blowing over 80 mg does not mean that you were impaired. Impaired driving is given out when the driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired due to the use of drugs or alcohol. Driving over 80 mg does not mean that you were impaired, but that your blood verses alcohol concentration was more than 80 mg, which is the legal limit that has been set out in Ontario. Even if you feel like you are fine to drive, If you are over 80 mg you will be charged with a criminal offence.

I received a licence suspension for being 0.06 over the limit. Is this an impaired charge?

No. As of May 1st 2009, new laws were enacted in Ontario in an attempt to reduce the number of drinking and driving related offences. If you are pulled over and provide a breath sample with a blood alcohol reading between 0.05 – 0.08, you will NOT be charged with a drinking and driving offence, but will receive an immediate, roadside licence suspension for 3 – 30 days. While this warning range charge is not a criminal offence, there are still some harsh penalties if you are found guilty. There are further details on our Warning Range 0.05 – 0.08 page.

I have been charged with impaired and my licence suspended for 90 days, but haven’t been convicted yet. Is there any way to get my licence back while I wait for my trial?

No. The minimum 90 day roadside suspension is mandatory when you are charged with any drinking and driving related offence in Ontario. This suspension is in addition to any other penalties and suspension you could be facing once found guilty of the DUI offence.

The 90 day suspension cannot be appealed or shortened and you must not drive for the duration of the suspension or else you could face additional charges and suspensions. Once the 90 day time period is completed, you are able to go to the Ministry of Transportation to apply to get your licence back and will be required to pay a reinstatement fee of $150.

Is there any way to avoid a criminal record if I am found guilty of a drinking and driving offence?

All drinking and driving-related offences are criminal offences. This means that if you are found guilty of any drinking and driving ticket, you will receive a criminal record. The only way to avoid this is to not be charged with a drinking and driving related offence or having the DUI offence reduced to a non-criminal offence such as a Highway Traffic Act ticket. The best way to go about doing this is to plead not guilty to your drinking and driving offence and hire experienced representation to give you the needed legal advice and to build a solid defence on your behalf.

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*Please note that all disbursements, filing fees and transcripts are not included in the quoted price.

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