The Reality of Canadian DUI Law


The Canadian government maintains statistics on the incidence of drunk driving in Canada. According to this data, millions of people take to Canadian roads annually under the influence of alcohol. Approximately 50,000 Canadians are arrested annually for DUI.

Proactively Retain Impaired Driving LawyerA reality about a drunk driving case in Canada is that it moves relatively quickly. A person arrested on a DUI charge will be given a court date to deal with preliminary matters shortly after an arrest.

A person cannot put off hiring a lawyer when charged with DUI because his or her blood alcohol concentration. DUI attorneys advise that the window for trying to reach a plea agreement in a case is not widely open. An impaired driving lawyer typically does not charge an initial consultation with a person charged with DUI.

Drunk Driving and Progressive Punishment

Canadian law uses what can best be described as a progressive system of punishment when it comes to DUI cases. If a person ends up getting charged a subsequent time after an initial conviction for DUI, possible sanctions increase. If additional charges accrue into the future, the penalties continue to increase.

The progressive nature of punishment underscores the need for retaining an attorney even when charged with a first-time DUI. Some people think that because penalties are not necessarily as significant when a person is charged the first time, they can forgo hiring an attorney.

A key strategy is attempting to obtain a reduction in a first time DUI charge if at all possible. That not only assists in a current case, but can potentially provide a level of protection in a future case because of the progressive nature of punishment in Canadian DUI law.

Potential Sanctions in DUI Cases

The possible sentence for conviction of a first-time DUI conviction is up to a $1,000 fine and a suspension of a driver’s license for 12 months. A second DUI conviction results in up to a 30 day jail sentence and a 24 month driver’s license suspension. A third conviction results in a potential 120 day jail sentence and a 36 month long suspension of a driver’s license.

The criminal sanction is a product of federal law. The driver’s license suspension is a creature of provincial law.

If a person refuses to cooperate in sobriety-related testing, that individual is prosecuted as if he or she received test results indicative of being impaired. This type of conviction counts as a DUI conviction for the purposes of punishment in subsequent cases.

Individual provinces in Canada have the ability to require a driver to install what is called an interlock device following a DUI conviction.

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