905-273-3322 or 1-877-273-3322
I Just Plead Guilty to Impaired Driving?
An Impaired Driving Lawyer Responds
See also: Guilty Pleas to
just been charged in Canada with impaired driving, over 80, or refusal and
you've decided you should plead guilty and "get it over with".
licence in Ontario has been suspended automatically for 90 days and the
Ontario Government has you convinced you should plead guilty so that
suspension and the one year suspension on conviction run concurrently
think lawyers cost too much and they can't do anything anyway
you want to know what's going to happen
If you plead guilty:
You will have a record of a criminal conviction for the rest of your life.
It's true that you might get a suspension of conviction (there is no longer
such a thing as a pardo) several years down the road but more
and more the politicians are saying that legislation will be changed so that
suspensions of conviction should not erase convictions for drunk driving.
Suspensions of conviction now take
much longer to get than pardons used to. Canadian suspensions of conviction are not recognized by
some provincial legislation (including the Ontario 10 year lookback period),
by US border authorites, or Criminal Code driving prohibition
rules. If you ever want to
become a teacher, a police officer, a professional, or a government employee
you may be giving up any hope of acceptance for such a job if you get a
conviction for drunk driving. There may be consequences under the Registered
Insurance Brokers Act , the Surveyors
Act, the Veterinarians
Act, the Architects
Act, the Professional
Engineers Act, the Regulated
Health Professions Act, the Funeral
Directors and Establishments Act, the Social
Work and Social Service Work Act, the Real
Estate and Business Brokers Act, the Private
Security and Investigative Services Act, the Chiropractic
Act, the Early
Childhood Educators Act, and similar statutes. The police
have a broad discretion to tell other people about charges, findings of
guilt, and convictions.There may be consequences if your business sells
lottery tickets or you are an officer
or director of a company that has restaurants with liquor licences.
There may be consequences if you are a medical student in another country.
On conviction for any drunk driving offence in Ontario you will
automatically lose your driver's licence for at least one
year. If you're
like most Canadians that will have a devastating impact on your job and on
your family. If you get caught driving while suspended you will go to jail
and your car will be impounded. Even if you are eligible for the Stream
A or Stream B permission to drive during the second part of the prohibition
You must pay a $250 deposit at the time of interlock lease agreement
Interlock costs $105 per month in advance starting at installation
Installation costs $150 plus HST
Removal costs $50 plus HST
Monitoring costs $105 per month plus HST
You must pay insurance on the interlock device
The education or treatment program costs $178
The Back on Track Programme costs $578
All outstanding fines must be paid
The charge may need to be amended to delete the words "or a
If you are found driving without an interlock your car will be
impounded for 7 days
Every member of the family or the workplace who drives the vehicle
(including your parents, your spouse, your children, and your
co-workers) will have to blow into the interlock device
On conviction for any drunk driving offence you will be ordered by a
judge to not drive in Canada for at least one year. If you breach that order
you will go to jail. That order is subject to provincial interlock
If you plead guilty to your first impaired or over 80 you'll be facing at
least 30 days in jail and a 3 year licence suspension on your second and
you'll regret pleading guilty on the first.
At the end of the year you'll have to pay a lot of money to the Ontario
Government to get your licence back. You have to take a course during the
suspension and the course lasts at least 8 months.
You will need to install an Ignition Interlock Device on your car and any
other vehicle you drive.
Worst of all, your car insurance rates will
be out of sight for many years.
You may not be able to visit the United States.
If you take some time to think about what you're doing:
You can ask for and get "disclosure" and a copy of the
"breath room video" on your first Court appearance or shortly
thereafter, even if you don't have a lawyer.
You can ask in Court for a short adjournment (3 days to 3 weeks), bring
"disclosure" to a lawyer, and find out whether or not
you have a defence to the charge. You will need to spend about an hour with
a lawyer. Ask the lawyer to take the time (that's why you should pay for the
first consultation) to carefully review the disclosure and breath room video
to assess whether or not there are issues that can be litigated with some
chance of success. Phone Stephen Biss, personally, at 905-273-3322 for a one
hour consultation at $200 plus HST.
You can read a lot of information about impaired driving and drunk driving
offences at this web site.
I Fight It?
How I Can Help
Stuff: The Canadian Impaired Driving Checklist (Bring this Questionnaire with You to Your Lawyer)
Stuff: The Drinking Driver's Worksheet (Exactly How Much You
Information About the Law
Licence Implications in Ontario
Automatic Suspension of Licences on Arrest
Automatic Suspension of Licences on Conviction
Re-instatement of Licences
Drive While Suspended Penalties in Ontario
in Ontario (see Rule 25 Facility Association)
Search Caselaw and Articles
Other Links and Resources