If you are facing a potential conviction for impaired driving, then it becomes relevant that you understand how the Ministry of Transportation plays a role in your case. An impaired driving conviction is a criminal offence and therefore, falls under the Criminal Code of Canada. More often than not, the case is that an impaired driving conviction attaches with it a period of driving prohibition. The length of time will depend on a variety of factors such as whether one has a prior criminal record, any aggravating circumstances, injuries, collision or the level of blood alcohol found in the system.
Inform your criminal defence lawyer of the following:
- The province and category of your driver’s licence (i.e.: G2 or G)
- Any outstanding charges you may be facing
- The number of demerit points, if any, on your driver’s abstract
- A very critical one – your immigration status
- Any pardons, if any
- Any prior New York or Michigan DUI convictions
- Type of Employment
Prior Criminal Record
If you have a relevant prior criminal record such as dangerous driving, fail to remain or criminal negligence of a motor vehicle more than 5 years ago, the Crown has the discretion not to file a Notice of Increased Penalty. Whether the Crown does so will depend on a number of factors such as the city’s particular Crown police, the facts of the case and the client’s record and date of priors. The impact of this will be seen in the type of penalty imposed, for example, a heftier fine or jail.
With respect to the MTO, the prior criminal record will be considered as a “prior criminal record” no matter the length of time that has passed unless there are at least ten (10) years between the conviction dates. Different rules apply if it is a third or greater offence.
Pardons of Prior DUI Convictions
The MTO does not give any credit for pardons.
Streams for Earlier Licence Reinstatement
If you have a conviction under the Criminal Code for impaired driving and your licence suspended for a particular period, there are options available to have your licence reinstated sooner through the Ministry of Transportation (MTO).
Ministry of Transportation Program
The Ministry of Transportation has what is called the “Back on Track Remedial Measures Program,” which allows you to drive sooner than later. In order to have your licence reinstated sooner, you will be required to install an interlock ignition into your car. You will need to register with an approved interlock service provider to have the device installed. When you have an ignition interlock, a condition is placed on your driver’s licence in the form of (“I”). The length of time depends on then number of convictions you have. It is important to remember to have this (“I”) removed from your driver’s license once your time period is completed. If you fail to do so and are pulled over, you will receive a ticket.
The MTO and Drug Related Offences
There is no interlock available for impaired driving by drug or for impaired or over 80 causing bodily harm or death.
The New Stream “D”
Under the MTO, there are what is referred to as “Streams” that allow your year long suspension (or more) imposed under the Criminal Code to be shortened with the use of their interlock ignition program. It was the case that these streams were only available to first time offenders until recently. Now, second time offenders have the option to access the streams offered under the MTO, albeit a different one in terms of conditions and requirements.
What is Stream “D” and Who Qualifies for it?
A second time offender faces an automatic 3-year suspension from the Ministry of Transportation. Before the onset of Stream D, only first time offenders were eligible to join the Reduced Suspension and Ignition Interlock Program. Now, second time offenders are able to take advantage of the program. This is very good news. Why? We are glad you asked. Under the Stream D, you can reduce your 3-year driving suspension to a 9-month suspension and begin driving immediately after with an interlock ignition installed in your car for a period of 18 months.
The offence date must have occurred on July 1, 2018 or thereafter. An accused person must plead guilty within 89 days after the offence date. Beyond this date, the Stream D program is not available. The program is also not available should an accused person choose to go to trial.
For more information about whether you qualify for the MTO’s Stream “D”, call our office for a 30-minute free consultation to learn about your options and begin driving sooner.