Life can be stressful after you’ve received an impaired driving conviction in Ontario. Once you’ve had your court date and you’ve got a better idea of the penalties you’ve incurred for driving under the influence, you’ll probably be wondering how long it will be before you’ll be able to drive normally again.
A driver’s license suspension is a mandatory penalty in Ontario, but there are ways to reduce your license suspension. If you meet specific requirements, you may be able to take part in the Ontario’s Reduced Suspension With Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program.
Eligible drivers are those who receive a first time conviction of impaired driving under the Criminal Code of Canada, and the following are some of the conditions required for eligibility:
- Your driver’s license has been suspended for a least one year for alcohol-impaired driving
- You were not arrested for drug impaired driving or a combination of alcohol and drug impaired driving
- You have not been convicted of an offense causing bodily harm or death
- You haven’t been convicted for driving on a suspended license
- You have not received a court order stating you cannot drive with an ignition interlock device during your suspension from driving
There are two streams for drivers who wish to participate in the Reduced Suspension program.
- Stream A will see their driver’s license suspension reduced to a minimum of 3 months and will be required to use an ignition interlock device for 9 months.
- Stream B will have a driver’s license suspension for a minimum of 6 months and be required to use the interlock device for 12 months.
Drivers in the program should also be aware of what constitutes a performance failure while using your ignition interlock device. If you blow over a blood alcohol concentration of 0.02, that’s considered a fail. A fail will also be logged if you miss a random rolling re-test. If you have a performance failure in the last 3 months of the ignition interlock period, you’ll have to extend your program by 3 months.
Entering the Reduced Suspension program is your best way to get back in the driver’s seat after an impaired driving conviction in Ontario. For more information on the program, take a look at the Ministry of Ontario’s Conduct Review Program page.