Are you looking for the best Brampton DUI lawyer to save you from the severe penalties of an impaired driving case?
Under Canada’s Criminal Code, DUI (driving under the influence) or impaired driving is a criminal offence that carries the stigma of a criminal record upon conviction. It is an on-road infraction in which an individual operates a vehicle in an altered state of mind due to high levels of drugs and/or alcohol. This includes cars, trucks, boats, and off-road vehicles.
In this post, we discuss the different aspects and consequences of impaired driving and how to get insurance after a DUI.
How Do You Get a DUI in Ontario?
Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is one of the most severe on-road offences in Ontario. Breaking the rules of the road can have serious consequences, ranging from hefty fines to losing your driving privileges.
Besides the long list of legal consequences that come with a DUI, getting auto insurance can also be a challenge. The penalties can affect your employment, education, travel, and reputation.
In Canada, drivers who fail a breathalyzer test administered by a police officer or the equivalent authorities receive a DUI. Drivers need to have a blood-alcohol level of less than 0.08 to drive legally in Canada. Similarly, drivers need to have less than two nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood. Surpassing either of these amounts is guaranteed to lead to a DUI.
What Are the Legal Consequences of Getting a DUI?
During your initial consultation with your lawyer at the criminal law firm, you will learn about the potential consequences. A first-time conviction for DUI results in mandatory minimum penalties such as:
- A one-year license suspension.
- A medical evaluation to determine your fitness to drive.
- A $1,000 fine
- Mandatory treatment and enrolment in alcohol education programs
- A one-year ignition interlock device upon license reinstatement.
If there are any aggravating circumstances, such as an accident, having an excessive blood alcohol concentration, or driving with minors, the penalties can get even harsher, including jail time. For a second DUI conviction, expect the same punishment as above, along with a minimum 30-day jail sentence. A third DUI results in the same penalties, along with a minimum 120-day jail sentence. The maximum sentence is 10 years in prison.
How Long Does a DUI Affect Your Insurance?
A DUI affects a driver’s insurance for 10 years from the conviction date in Canada, with the potential for significant decreases in premiums occurring over the final four.
If you are convicted of a second DUI within 10 years, that will lead to a 3-year license suspension. A third conviction can result in a 10-year suspension, making the wait to reduce rates longer, more expensive, and significantly more challenging.
In addition, you face further punishment from insurance companies. They can cancel or opt to not renew your policy soon after your conviction, classifying you as a high-risk driver.
If your arrest occurred due to an accident you caused, insurance companies can legally deny damage claims based on attributing the accident to your impairment.
There are a few factors that impact the rate of your car insurance after a DUI, such as:
- Driving Record: If you had a clean driving record before your DUI and continue to do so, you may be able to lower your insurance rates.
- Make and Model of Your Car: The type of car you drive impacts the rate of your insurance.
- Where You Live: Your province is a factor in the cost of your insurance.
- Time: Each year that you go without an accident, claim, or DUI will help you save money on your insurance.
Depending on the insurer, some will remove your DUI charge from your record after three years, while for others it could take up to six. As per research by The Globe and Mail, in Ontario a typical impairment conviction can move your insurance premium from around $2,000 to between $8,500 and $10,000 a year.
The best way to avoid the high insurance rates that come with a DUI conviction is to not drive while impaired. But if you have been arrested for a first-time DUI, reach out to a criminal law firm near you for proper legal help and to get your life back on track.