skip to Main Content

Charged with DUI in Ontario? Fight The Charges.
Toll-free at 1-800-668-1657 or freeconsult@callalawyer.ca

If you have been charged with driving with a suspended licence in Ontario that had been suspended due to driving-related Criminal Code offences such as drinking and driving (as opposed to having had your licence suspended for a Highway Traffic Act offence), you will face the following penalties:

  • Your vehicle will be impounded for a minimum of 45 days.
  • On conviction, you are liable for a fine between $5,000 and $25,000 for the first offence, followed by a fine between $10,000 and $50,000 for each subsequent offence within five years.

There will also be another licence suspension under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act: one year for a first offence and two years for subsequent offences and up to two years in jail and a three-year licence suspension under the Criminal Code.

If you are charged with driving with a licence that had been suspended for a Highway Traffic Act offence, you are facing a seven-day vehicle impoundment, a fine of between $1000 and $5000 for a first offence and between $2000 and $5000 for a subsequent offence within five years. You may also get up to six months in jail or a fine or both. As well, six months will be added to your current suspension.

For detailed information about immediate driver’s licence suspension under the HTA for driving-related Criminal Code convictions, please refer to “Mandatory HTA Suspensions.”

A conviction for driving under suspension will be kept on record for at least five years. Your insurance premiums will be increased for several years and you might even be disqualified from your existing insurance coverage. For information about how traffic tickets impact your insurance premium, please refer to the section  “Insurance Premiums.”

It is always recommended to fight the charge. Although this offence is one of absolute liability, meaning you do not have to intend to do the act to be found guilty, and due diligence is not available as a defence, the prosecution still needs to prove the violation beyond a reasonable doubt. There are some general defences available on a case-by-case basis. For detailed information, please refer to the section “General Defences for Traffic Tickets”.

Driving under “Prohibited Range” (BAC: > 0.08) (s.48.3)

If you drive a vehicle while your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is above 0.08 (Prohibited Range), your driver’s licence will be suspended at the roadside for a period of 90 days under the Highway Traffic Act. The suspension takes effect from the time notice of the suspension is given by the police. You should be requested to surrender your driver’s licence to the officer. The vehicle will be impounded for seven days on the roadside.

On conviction for impaired driving under s.253 of the Criminal Code, you will immediately receive a suspension of one year for the first conviction, three years for the first subsequent conviction, indefinite suspension for additional subsequent convictions under the HTA. The vehicle may be impounded by a court order for three months.

This is a Criminal Code offence and a prosecution could be initiated under the Criminal Code against you later. The following is a further explanation about the penalties both under the HTA and Criminal Code:

[table id=2 /]
* the penalty under the Canadian Criminal Code: only for where there was no bodily harm or death. Determining a subsequent conviction: within a 10-year period.

If you are convicted, you can get your suspended licence back sooner by attending the Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program, effective since August 3, 2010. For detailed information about how this program works, please refer to “Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program”.

You will be assigned to the conduct review programs – Back on Track and the Ignition Interlock Program. For more information about the programs, please refer to “Additional Consequences Regarding Drinking and Driving”.

The Administrative Monetary Penalty ($150) will also need to be paid before the reinstatement of your driver’s licence.

Driving under the “Prohibited Range” has very serious legal and financial consequences both under the HTA and Criminal Code. The conviction will be kept on your HTA record for, at least ten years and on your criminal record until you receive a pardon. It will dramatically increase your Insurance Premiums.

The following table focuses on the financial consequences you may face before and after you are convicted:

Driving while BAC: >0.08
Financial Consequences
Suspension (RoadsideImpoundment (Roadside) and Tow AdministrativeMonetary PenaltyBack on TrackIgnition Interlock
1st2nd3rd
Length90 days7 days3 parts (8 or 16 hours)1 year3 yearsIndefinite
Estimated CostTow and Impound$150$578Installation: $155De-Installation: $50 + taxMonthly: $105
Estimated Cost (Total)$800$150$578
Increased Insurance Estimate: initially 2x current rate.
Minimum of $1,000 fine under the Criminal Code conviction, 15% or more Fine Surcharge.

Under the HTA, the 90-day Administrative Driver’s Licence Suspension can be appealed under the following grounds:

  1. you are not the person whose breath or blood was tested;
  2. you failed to give a sample of breath or blood due to a medical reason and have proof of same.

The best thing to do is to choose either to drink or to drive, but not both. In reality, good people make mistakes. So, once you made a mistake, it is always advisable to obtain some legal advice. With experienced legal representation, your rights will be better protected. By better understanding the procedure, you could get the suspended driver’s licence back sooner.

Driving under “Warn Range” (BAC: 0.05 to 0.08) (s.48)

Driving while the BAC is in the “Warn Range” is a serious issue under the Highway Traffic Act. You will face a roadside suspension for three days for the first time, seven days for the second time within a five-year period and 30 days for the third time and other subsequent offences with a five-year period.

Administrative Monetary Penalty in the amount of $150, mandatory alcohol education program, or longer time suspension and other consequences you will bear for subsequent offences.

The following table gives a detailed explanation about penalties and financial consequences:

Diving while BAC: 0.05 to 0.08First TimeSecond TimeThird TimeSubsequent Offence
Roadside Suspension3 days7 days30 days30 days
Alcohol Education Program:Education Course ($178)Treatment Course ($178)Treatment Course ($178)
Ignition Interlock6 months
(Installation: $125
De-Installation: $25
Monthly: $95)
6 months
(Installation: $125
De-Installation: $25
Monthly: $95)
Medical EvaluationMandatory
Administrative Monetary Penalty$150$150$150$150
Estimated Insurance Increase ($3,000 per year for 3 years)$9,000$9,000$9,000$9,000
Total Estimated Cost (Excl. Taxes)$9,150$9,328$10,048$10,048
A subsequent offence is an offence with a period of five years.
Other penalties such as discretionary suspension, fine, etc may be imposed by the court.

These roadside licence suspensions are short-term suspensions and not subject to an appeal. Suspensions will be recorded on the driver’s record. For up to five years, these roadside suspensions will be considered when determining consequences for subsequent infractions.

Recent Successes With Impaired Driving Charges
Request Free Consultation
Free DUI Book

Free DUI Book

17 Secrets to Helping You Survive (and WIN) Your DUI Charge.

Get the Free Book

Some of Our Google Reviews

I had my first trouble with law couple of months and we found Edmund Chang. He helped me through all the process professionally moreover, he really cares about my best interest, he will check if I comfortable with all decisions we were going to make and if not, he will not push it. Other things that really stand out, he is approachable as well as responsive to follow up. In the end, we settled the case and I can move on.read more
Krystal Stacy
Krystal Stacy
17:19 15 Jun 18
I was charged with over 0.80 and Impaired Driving charges. I didn't think I had any chance, but Justin Marchant managed to get me out with a careless driving charge. Thanks to him, I don't have a criminal record!!! Very friendly, sharp, professional, and dedicated individual. He did a great job prepping me for the trial, and prepping for the case. I highly recommend this firm, as if it wasn't for them, I'm not sure what would have happened to my life. I made a nasty mistake, one which I will never ever make again. Some lessons have a big price to be learned.read more
Sean Jamali
Sean Jamali
15:20 07 Jun 18
Recently I was charged with over .80, Justin Marchand help me WIN this charge, from the moment I contacted him, he was very professional and upfront, He always responded to my calls and answered all my questions, He prepared me really well before trial. I would 100% recommend him and his team, Job Well done… “Sometimes good people make mistakes”read more
S F
S F
17:16 07 Jun 18
Mr. Marchand is an amazing lawyer. He is very personable and professional. My case was a very long and drawn out case, but Mr. Marchand always kept up with everything and I was always well informed. I really appreciated that he would take the time to fully explain his thought process/strategy and was never condescending. Even though this was a stressful time, Mr. Marchand made it a great experience and took care of everything.read more
Rochelle Jenifer
Rochelle Jenifer
17:30 15 Jun 18
Once again amazing ! I am writing this review as I always refer my friends to this firm. THEY ARE THE BEST ! My friend was pulled over at the us border on a random check and in turn got charged with a refusal. My friend did not know that refusing to take a breathalyzer was a criminal offence. In fact as soon as he realized it he asked the officers to take it but they refused him. In turn he was charged with a refusal. Aitken Robertson specializes in DUI and cases such as this.. so it was an immediate call to them that i put in for him. Right then and there they took over. As usual, they offered a payment plan and of course they took care of everything all the pre-trial meetings etc. Justin was the laywer for him and not only is he the MOST thorough he is the most out for justice. He found the errors that the officers made and he used it to my friends advantage. He went above and beyond to find the best resolution with the crown. He went above and beyond to give my friend all his options. And the best part is that NO CRIMINAL CHARGES. It was reduced basically down to a speeding ticket as a result of Justins hard work. The whole firm is stellar. They take time to go through your disclosure to confirm any and all details are correct.The justice system is a corrupted one and im thankful these lawyers know how to find a way to help us through that. Justin once again did an amazing job. Susan at the firm is great she helps out with payment plans etc. Brenda is great. Robert of course its just a great team of laywers. Do not go anywhere else ! I will recommend them time and time again.read more
TAYLOR STEVENS
TAYLOR STEVENS
19:28 26 Jun 18
Google Rating
4.9
Back To Top