Caught Driving Impaired? It'll cost you $23,000 says report

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Impaired driving is an expensive charge.  It will cost you financially, emotionally, personally and can impact your career and travel plans.

Arrivealive.org recently released a study on the costs of impaired driving. The numbers are staggering. Consider that you are going to a party, and you don’t want to spend $20 or even $80 to take a cab or Uber home. Here are the numbers of what the charge will cost the first time convicted impaired driver (they are even higher for subsequently charged individuals).

  • Criminal Code Fine – $1000         Payable to the Government of Canada
  • Remedial Measures Program – $578        Payable to Back on Track + GST
  • Licence Reinstatement Fee – $150            Payable to the Ministry of Finance + GST
  • Increase in Insurance Costs – $18,000     Payable to your insurance company in $6,000 increments each of the next 3 years. This is the minimum increase based on a perfect 6-star driving record
  • Ignition Interlock – $1,350 +installation.                 Pay to interlock provider
  • Court Costs – $2,000 – $10,000 Payable to your legal counsel
  • TOTAL – $23,078 (minimum) to $31,078 (could be more)
  • Immediate consequences for drivers in Ontario caught with a BAC of over .08 or who refuse to provide a breath sample include an immediate administrative 90-day licence suspension and seven day vehicle impoundment.
  • Minimum consequences for drivers convicted of: impaired driving, operating a vehicle with a BAC of over .08, or refusing to provide a breath sample are:
  • One-year driver licence suspension (reducible to three months under certain circumstances)
  • One-year ignition interlock condition upon reinstatement (up to three years for repeat offenders)
  • Back on Track program (alcohol assessment and education)
  • Minimum fine paid as part of federal consequences
  • Licence reinstatement fee
  • Increased insurance premiums ($6,000 annually for minimum three years)
  • Legal costs (if retained; paid to your own legal counsel)
  • Criminal Record
  • Since 2009 consequences for drivers in the warn range (.05 to .08) have increased and now include: immediate suspensions of 3, 7 and 30 days; education and treatment for alcohol use; and six month ignition interlock licence restrictions. The increased sanctions are for “repeat offenders”.

Drivers aged 21 and under and novice drivers must have a zero BAC and zero cannabis when driving. Otherwise they face:

  • an immediate 24-hour licence suspension, or
  • a 30-day suspension and up to $500 in fines
  • Repeat offenders face greater consequences and longer licence suspensions.

Impaired boaters face the same consequences as impaired drivers.