DUI is a crime or a law-breaking act because it violates the law. Whether how severe the offense is, be it a misdemeanor or a felony, it is still a crime. Any DUI offenders will have to face the consequences of their faults.
Penalties for DUI vary depending on the severity of the offense. So, you need to hire an experienced lawyer. However, most judges impose similar penalties for DUI from fines, jail, driver’s license suspension, and probation.
Among the penalties for DUI, probation is exemplified by the court from 3 to 5 years. This serves as a heavy warning for the violator. The violation will then be recorded which means that if the driver commits the similar offense, he will be subjected to a heavier penalty or penalties for DUI.
1. First offense will subject a violator to attend alcohol/drug informational program. A fine of $200.00to $ 2000.00 will be imposed with a 48 hours to 6 months detention which could be mitigated with community services. Your license may be suspended up to 6 months. For violators who have professional driving license – class 1, 2, A or B, they might receive a detention of 96 hours to 6 months in jail, mandatory fines and a 6 month license revocation.
2. The second offense entails a fine of up to $2000.00 and 4 days to a year detention. There is also a license suspension of up to 18 months with 30 weeks mandatory alcohol/drug counseling. For professional license holders, you will be given an interlocking device which will be installed in your vehicle. This also includes a mandatory fine and a license suspension of up 18 months and you will have to face 90 days to a year in jail.
3. For the third DUI for within 10 years, you will be detained for 120 days to 1 year in jail with a fine of $ 2000.00. This also includes an 18 months alcohol/drug counseling for those who did not attend one before. Your license will be revoked for 3 years.
4. And for a fourth offense, same is true as the third offense; you will be detained for 120 days to 1 year in jail with a fine of $ 2000.00. This also includes an 18 months alcohol/drug counseling for those who did not attend one before. Your license will be revoked for four years. You will also be spending 180 days to 1 year in jail.
DUI Is a Criminal Conviction
A DUI is a federal offense in Canada and will result in a criminal conviction on your record. The Crown of Canada determines whether prosecution is pursued as an indictment (equivalent to a felony in the United States) or as a summary conviction (equivalent to a misdemeanor in the U.S.). Most DUI charges in Canada are prosecuted as summary convictions.
Being convicted of impaired driving leads to many penalties that can include:
- A mandatory ignition interlock device on the driver’s vehicle.
- Mandatory completion of a drug rehabilitation program.
- Medical evaluation to determine whether the driver is fit to drive again.
Fines Assessed for DUI
A driver faces a fine of $1,000 or more for an impaired driving conviction, refusing to provide a BAC test sample or driving with a BAC of 0.08 percent or higher. Subsequent offenses in these categories result in higher fines. For driving while prohibited from doing so or driving after being federally convicted of impaired driving, a driver faces a fine of up to $2,000.
A driver facing her first charge of driving while in the warn range faces a fine of $250. Subsequent charges result in higher fines and additional fees, like a $250 driver’s license reinstatement fee.
Jail Time Is Possible
On July 2, 2008, Canada’s minimum punishment for DUI offenses was amended. A first offense now carries a minimum fine of $1,000 and second offenses within a 10-year period are punishable by a minimum 30-day jail term. Each subsequent conviction will result in jail time of at least 120 days. Summary convictions carry a maximum sentence of 18 months.
Loss of License
When a Canadian driver is convicted of impaired driving, he faces two distinct driver’s license suspensions: a criminal suspension, which is imposed by the federal government, and an administrative suspension, which is imposed by the government of the province where the driver lives. A driver faces an administrative suspension regardless of the outcome of his criminal case. The length of this suspension depends on the driver’s province.
As of 2019, law enforcement can also suspend drivers’ licenses immediately (while stopped by police at the side of the road) upon determining that the driver was under the influence. For a first-time offense, the driver faces a three-day suspension and a $250 fine. The suspension length, fine amount and whether the driver faces additional penalties depend on her age, license type and previous DUI record. If the driver is found guilty of impaired driving in court, she can face additional criminal penalties.
These are all penalties for basic DUI. The sentencing is ratcheted up if there are aggravated incidents in addition to the DUI. These could be but are not inclusive of any accidents, extreme high blood alcohol levels, high vehicle speeds, children present, prior convictions, drugs found or used, and any abuse of arresting officers. The law is fluid and legislated. All penalties are subject to change and modification at the will of the people. Now, in most cases, the court must pass judgment as the law specifies without the ability to mitigate sentencing from the bench.