The penalties for impaired driving in Ontario are stiff, and while most offenders will mention the driver’s license suspension as the most difficult part of an drunk driving conviction, that’s only the beginning. Besides the potential of having your vehicle impounded and having to attend an alcohol education program, receiving an impaired driving conviction can hit you straight in the wallet in a big way. At least that’s what one Ontario woman found out recently.
Pamela Shaver was driving drunk when she lost control of her vehicle, collided with a motel sign, and smashed into the side of a motel. No one inside the motel was injured in the crash, but Shaver left the scene before the ambulance showed up. Police found her personal information in the vehicle and waited for her to turn herself in. When she did, she was arrested for impaired driving.
After pleading guilty, Shaver was suspended from driving for one year, ordered to pay fines of $3,500, was required to pay the motel’s insurance deductible of $1,139, and must pay the motel’s insurance company $23,008.36 in restitution. That’s a bill of $27,647.36, all for making the mistake of getting behind the wheel while drunk.
She might not feel that way right now, but Shaver got off lucky. Although she won’t be able to drive for a year and, according to Ontario impaired driving laws, will be required to participate in the ignition interlock program once she receives her driver’s license back, she managed to avoid killing herself or others while behind the wheel drunk. For that she should be grateful.
The next time you’re tempted to get behind the wheel after having a few drinks, think about the potential cost of drinking and driving. On the low end you have the potential of paying thousands of dollars in fines, on the high end you could pay with your life.