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Break the Law Pay the Price

Ontario has cracked down on some of the worst offenders on our roads - drinking drivers and driver suspended for Criminal Code convictions.* These drivers put others at risk and must be held accountable and responsible for their actions.

Ontario has taken action with the introduction of TOUGHER measure:
Education and Treatment Programs

Drinking and driving are required to take more responsibility for their actions. They have to get their drinking problem under control if they want their licence back.

They must successfully complete Ontario's remedial measures program, which come into effect September 30, 1998, before their licence can be reinstated. Participants must pay a fee of $475 (plus GST) to cover the cost of the program which consist of three phases:

  • Assessment: Determines the extent of the drinking and driving program is most appropriate.
  • Education or Treatment Program: Driver must successfully complete the appropriate program aimed at preventing drinking and driving. These programs focus on how alcohol affects driving performance, the consequences of impaired driving and ways to avoid drinking and driving.
  • Follow up Interview: Arranged by the participant six months after program completion to revisit the skills obtained and goals set during the program
Back on Track

Until October 1, 2000, first offenders will be referred directly to the education program. They will not have to complete the assessment or follow up interview. Repeat offenders must complete all components of the program.

Longer Suspension Periods for Repeat offenders

Drivers who offend and are convicted of Criminal Code driving related offense since September 30, 1998, lose their driving privileges for:

  • One year on a first conviction;
  • Three years on a second conviction;
  • Lifetime suspension on a third conviction which can be reduced to 10 years if certain conditions are met; and
    Lifetime suspension on a forth conviction with no possibility of ever having an Ontario driver's licence again.

In addition, driving related Criminal Code convictions remain on a driver's record for at least 10 years. Drivers must be conviction free for 10 years before they will be considered to have a clean driving record. This applies to convictions since September 30, 1993.

Vehicle impoundment

Under Ontario's Vehicle Impoundment Program, drivers who are caught driving while their licence is suspended for a Criminal Code conviction will have the vehicle they are driving impounded for a minimum of 45 days.

Regardless of whether the vehicle is rented, leased or loaned to a friend or family member, the vehicle will be impounded. The vehicle owner will be liable for all towing and impoundment costs.


Vehicle owners are responsible for taking all reasonable steps to ensure that every person who drives their vehicle has a valid driver's licence.

  • To verify a valid driver's licence through the Ministry of Transportation:
    Call 1-900-565-6555 ($2.50 per check applied to phone bill)
Stiffer Fines

Drivers who are convicted of driving while their licence is suspended for a Criminal Code conviction face higher fines under the Highway Traffic Act that range from:

  • $5,000 $25,000 for the first conviction
  • $10,000 $50,000 for subsequent conviction
Reinstatement Fee

Suspended drivers must pay $100 to have their licence reinstated. This fee does not apply to medical suspensions or Administrative Driver's Licence Suspensions.

Zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) for New Drivers

Drivers in the Graduated Licensing System must maintain zero BAC while driving. If they breach this condition, they face a 30 day licence suspension and must pay a fine.

Different. But Equal.
Beer (5%ALC./VOL.) 12 oz.
Wine (12%ALC./VOL.) 5 oz
Spirits (40% ALC./VOL.) 1.5 oz.
These standard saving of beer, wine, and spirits all contain equal amounts of alcohol.
Drinking and driving is a serious problem. In Ontario

Drinking and driving is a serious problem. In Ontario, impaired drivers cause thousands of traffic crashes every year. Drinking drivers are responsible for one quarter of all people killed on Ontario roads. Drinking and driving hurts us all through deaths, injuries, and personal tragedies, in addition to costs for health care, emergency response and property damage.

Every year, more than 35,000 drivers are under suspension for Criminal Code convictions in Ontario. It is estimated that 85% of those convictions are related to drinking and driving.

* In addition to drinking and driving, Criminal Code convictions include criminal negligence causing bodily harm or death, manslaughter, dangerous driving and failure to remain at the scene of a collisions

On The Spot Licence Suspension

Drivers who provide a sample over the legal limit (.08) or refuse a breath test will have their driver's licence suspended immediately for 90 days under the Administrative Driver's Licence Suspension (ADLS) Program. This 90 day suspension is separate and distinct from an), criminal charges a driver faces in court.

An impaired driving conviction under [he Criminal Code results in a suspension under the Highway Traffic Act. The following chart shows the minimum penalties and consequences

Consequences under the Highway Traffic Act Minimum Penalties under the Criminal Code
First Offense 1 year licence suspensions Remedial measures requirement 1 year driving prohibition $600
Second Offense 3 year licence suspension Remedial measures requirement 2 year driving prohibition 14 day jail sentence
Third Offense Lifetime licence suspension (reducible to 10 years if certain conditions are met) 3 Year driving prohibition 90 day jail sentence
Fourth & Subsequent Offense Lifetime licence suspensions Same as third offense

Drivers who are caught driving while their licence is suspended for a Criminal Code conviction will have the vehicle they are driving impounded and face fines from $5,000 -$50,000.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT 1 800 268 4686 OR (416) 235 4686


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