Among the provinces, Ontario is known for taking drunk driving especially seriously. In almost all cases your licence is suspended and you are ordered not to drive for a certain period. How soon you can get your life back to normal after an Ontario DUI depends on how you navigate the long road back.
- Immediate Suspension. If a police officer is satisfied that you have been drinking and driving, your licence is automatically suspended for 90 days. This is apart from and in addition to any penalty given to you in court.
- Additional Suspension. If you choose to fight the DUI charges but lose at trial, you are suspended for six months after your conviction.
- Ignition Interlock. Unless your suspension is very short, you will have to have an ignition interlock device on your vehicle to prevent it from starting if the driver has been drinking. If you opt out of the interlock, you are prohibited from driving for six months. And if you are caught driving while suspended, you will receive additional suspension time.
- Alcohol Education. Anyone wanting to reinstated a licence after a DUI conviction must take Back on Track, Ontario’s alcohol assessment and education program. The program can take up to 11 months to complete, and costs about $600. If you are not a first-time offender, you must complete the entire program before your licence can get reinstated.
If you get an Ontario DUI, your driving privileges are removed and placed far away. It’s a struggle to regain them, which is why it’s always a bad idea to drink and drive.
So stay sober behind the wheel. If you drink, get a ride home, and keep your licence where it belongs, in your wallet, valid and ready to go.