DUI, Impaired Driving, Refusal to provide a breathe sample, Driving over .08, are all considered criminal offences and are among the most common forms of criminal activity in Canada.
Thankfully, as Canadians we are given a second chance by way of a pardon or record suspension as long as we have served the punishment and paid the fines and have waited the prescribed time to be eligible.
We help hundreds of people each year to obtain a pardon for these crimes and we are very aware of the implications of getting a DUI not only from a cost perspective but also how a criminal record can affect your life when it comes to employment and travel.
The laws and penalties surrounding a DUI have just gotten stricter with the passing of Bill C46.
Here are the penalties:
- First offence, with blood alcohol content of 80-119 mg: mandatory minimum $1,000 fine
- First offence, with blood alcohol content of 120-159 mg: mandatory minimum $1,500 fine
- First offence, with blood alcohol content of 160 mg or more: mandatory minimum $2,500 fine
- First offence, but refuse to be tested: mandatory minimum $2,000 fine
- Second offence: mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment
- Third or more offence: mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment
- Maximum penalties for impaired driving causing no bodily harm or death: summary conviction carries two years less a day imprisonment, indictment carries 10 years imprisonment
- Maximum penalties for impaired driving causing bodily harm: Summary conviction for less severe injuries carries two years less a day imprisonment, indictment carries 14 years imprisonment
- Maximum penalty impaired driving causing death: life imprisonment
Here is the new law:
Mandatory alcohol screening
The new laws will give police officers the authority to demand breathalyzer tests from any driver they pull over. Previously, officers could only test drivers if they had a reasonable suspicion the person was impaired. Any driver who refuses to take the test can be charged.
Before Dec. 18, drivers could use the “bolus drinking defence,” arguing that they consumed alcohol just before driving and it was not absorbed yet. The new law eliminates this defence, by making it illegal to be at or over the alcohol limit within two hours of being behind the wheel.