Unlike most other criminal offences, a conviction for impaired driving, or a DUI, comes with punishments not only under the Criminal Code, but also under the Highway Traffic Act (HTA). As such, if you are charged with a DUI, there is a lot of information you need to be aware of.
Firstly, anyone charged with an impaired driving has their license suspended for 90 days from the date of the charge-this suspension applies whether they are eventually convicted or acquitted of the criminal charge. It is a penalty for simply being charged with the offence.
If you plead guilty or are found guilty following a trial, the criminal code carries a mandatory 12-month license suspension for a first conviction, and a lifetime suspension for a third. A first time offence also has a $1,000 minimum fine. During this 12-month driving suspension period, you must also complete a remedial measures assessment program.
There is, however, an option available for an early reinstatement of the suspense license through the installation of the Ignition Interlock Device, as long as you meet the criteria. The ignition lock system has two streams: steam A and stream B.
Stream A allows for the installation of the interlock device after 3 months of no driving, allowing for the accused to drive during the remaining 9 months of the suspension as long as they are using the installed Interlock device. Stream A, however, is only available to accused who plead within the first 90 days of being charged.
Steam B allows for the installation of the interlock device after 6 months of no driving, followed by having the interlock device installed for 12 months.
Stream A is the better of the two streams, yet it is only available to those who plead guilty within 90 days. Due to this short time frame, it becomes very important for anyone charged with an impaired driving to consult and retain a lawyer quickly in order to make an informed decision on how best to proceed.
Ministry of Transportation Page on the Interlock Ignition Device.