Young Drivers: The Penalties for Impaired Driving are Serious

July 30, 2018 by Chris Bibey

When it comes to impaired driving, there is a lot you need to know.

The most important thing, regardless of age or location, is that driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is against the law.

Police are on the lookout for impaired drivers, as they realize that keeping these people off the road improves the safety of others.

If police determine that you’re driving under the influence, you can face a variety of penalties.

While an arrest does not automatically result in a conviction, this could be the end result. The penalties you face will vary based on a variety of factors, including your age, amount of alcohol and/or drugs in your system, licence type, and whether you have any prior convictions on your record.

Immediate Penalties for Young Drivers

As noted in our last blog post, there is a zero tolerance system in place for young and novice drivers. If you fit into this category, immediate penalties can include:

•    24 hour licence suspension
•    Mandatory use of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of six months
•    Mandatory attendance in a treatment program

Note: if convicted, you can also face a fine and a longer licence suspension.

Other Penalties

There are also penalties for violating zero tolerance laws, failing a field sobriety test, and/or driving in the warn range:

First Offence

•    $250 penalty
•    Three day licence suspension

Second Offence Within Five Years

•    $350 fine
•    Mandatory participation in an education program
•    Seven day licence suspension

Third (or more) Offence Within Five Years

•    $450 fine
•    30 day licence suspension
•    Mandatory participation in an education program
•    Required use of an ignition interlock device
•    Mandatory medical evaluation, which could lead to additional time on top of the original licence suspension period

In the event that you refuse testing or have a BAC over the legal limit of 0.08, the following penalties come into play:

•    $550 fine
•    90 day licence suspension
•    Vehicle impoundment (seven days)
•    Mandatory participation in an education program
•    Required use of an ignition interlock device

Court Conviction

Regardless of age or licence type, a conviction by the court for impaired driving will impact your life in many ways.

First Offence

•    Licence suspension for a minimum of one year
•    Mandatory participation in an education program
•    Required use of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of one year
•    Mandatory medical evaluation, which can result in an extended licence suspension

Second Offence Within 10 Years

•    Licence suspension for a minimum of three years
•    Mandatory participation in an education program
•    Required use of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of three years
•    Mandatory medical evaluation, which can result in an extended licence suspension

Third (or more) Offence Within 10 Years

•    Lifetime licence suspension
•    Mandatory participation in an education program
•    Required use of an ignition interlock device for a minimum of six years
•    Mandatory medical evaluation, which can result in an extended licence suspension

Impact on Auto Insurance

Along with all the above penalties – which are serious in their own right – a DUI conviction can make it difficult to purchase an auto insurance policy.

Even if you find a company that is willing to provide coverage, you’ll find that it’s much more expensive than it was before your trouble with the law.