A charge of DUI in Toronto or anywhere in Ontario is a serious offence with equally serious punishments and other consequences. Far from what most people think that it only means a license suspension and some fines, a DUI conviction can mean huge fines, jail time, losing the privilege to drive, and can impact you throughout life. Below are some other things to remember about impaired driving and DUI in Canada.
You Can Be Stopped and Tested Even When You Were Not Operating A Vehicle
Most people think that they can only be charged with impaired driving if they were operating a vehicle but being inside a vehicle while intoxicated is enough to be asked to submit to a breathalyzer test and possibly be charged with a DUI. Officers now have a two-hour period from when you were pulled over to administer the test according to the provisions of House of Commons Bill 46-C as of 2018. This means that in a scenario wherein you were observed to walk out of a bar intoxicated with a friend, and an officer saw you approaching your vehicle, the officer has a reason to ask you to submit to a test within a two hour period. If it were found that you have a blood alcohol level of above 80, then a DUI arrest is possible. Note that refusing to take the test can likewise lead to an arrest.
Can You Get A Summary Conviction or A Criminal Conviction for A DUI Charge?
A DUI conviction is classified as a criminal conviction in Canada. Note that the law can’t do any further action towards you until it has been confirmed that you were truly intoxicated over the legal limit.
What Happens After A DUI Conviction?
The consequences for a conviction vary by a lot depending on whether you have previous similar offences and convictions in the past. A fine is guaranteed but jail time may or may not happen. Your vehicle may also be installed with an ignition interlock device plus you might be required to attend a rehabilitation program. You may need to undergo some type of evaluation as well if you’re still planning to drive in the future.
How About Losing Driving Privileges?
There is a huge possibility of losing your driving privileges for some time. This can be as little as 30 days or longer. In most instances, the court will issue some requirements that you have to follow for your driving privileges to be restored. Note that repeat offenders can lose driving privileges permanently.
How Long Does a Conviction Remain on Someone’s Record?
This varies from one Canadian province to the next but in Ontario, this is present in someone’s driving record for three years with day one marked as the day of conviction.
Can A DUI Conviction Show Up on Background Checks?
The short answer is yes, and this can be viewed by prospective lenders, employers, and insurance providers. On the other hand, an arrest without conviction is not likely to appear in a background check.
Will a DUI Conviction Affect Employment Opportunities and Insurance Premiums?
Yes to both. This is why it is better to avoid a DUI conviction by making sure that you have a solid DUI defence so that future employers will not disqualify you and insurance providers will not charge you higher premiums.