How a DUI Charge Can Impact Your Life

Glass of whiskey and car keys on wooden table.

A DUI can change your life drastically. This article will overview the impacts of being charged with Driving Under the Influence (DUI).

Before you make any decisions during this stressful time, you must understand all the possible penalties and consequences a DUI conviction may bring. It would be best if you talked to a DUI lawyer immediately. An experienced lawyer can explain and guide you throughout the process.A successful DUI lawyer will give you the best chance to beat impaired driving charges.

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Ability to Drive?

Alcohol reduces your alertness and motor coordination. If you are intoxicated, you won’t react quickly to certain situations on the road when you need to. Your vision may be affected – it could be blurred, or you may see double. Alcohol can also alter your depth perception, making it hard for you to tell whether other vehicles, pedestrians and other objects are near or far.

You need to be alert while you’re driving and you need to make quick decisions in a fast-moving environment. Alcohol changes the normal function of your brain and body. It affects even the most experienced driver’s ability to drive a vehicle safely.

Alcohol can also affect your judgment. Many people who drink alcohol feel over-confident. Some drivers who have had alcoholare unaware that their driving skills have been reduced and become reckless. They drive beyond the speed limit, weave in and out of traffic, or drive off the road. Unfortunately, for many, this can be fatal to the driver, passengers, pedestrians or people in other vehicles.

“A DUI can affect your career and reputation. It can also make it difficult for you to get a new job. You need to know what your rights are even if you have been charged with a DUI. I have successfully defended many clients facing a DUI, and I am here to help you beat your DUI charges.”

Robert W.H. Kivlichan
Criminal Defence Lawyer, Founding Partner

What is Impaired Driving?

Impaired driving refers to operating a vehicle while your ability to do so has been compromised to any degree due to your consumption of alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.

Canadian Law Regarding DUI

Under the Criminal Code, Canadians are prohibited from driving while impaired by alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both.

The maximum blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for fully licenced drivers in Canada is under 0.08 or 80 milligrams of alcohol in 100 millilitres of blood. If you are caught driving with a BAC of .08 or over, it is a criminal offence and you can be arrested. 

However, a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 is a “warn range” and will also result in criminal charges.

Zero tolerance or Zero BAC rule

Drivers 21 and under and all novice drivers of any age must not have any alcohol in their blood when driving. They are also prohibited from having any drugs in their system when they are operating a vehicle.

Drivers of vehicles that require an A-F licence, road building machines, and vehicles that require a CVOR (Commercial Vehicle Operator’s Registration) are prohibited from having any alcohol in their blood while driving.

Testimonial

“I had an impaired charge, and Robert took it to trial and won! I would have lost my job, but he wouldn’t give an inch. Robert put me on a payment plan which made the whole thing easier, and he always took my calls to keep me updated.”

J. S. – Hamilton

How Will a DUI Affect Your Life?

  1. When a driver is arrested for impaired driving in Canada, they will receive the following immediate penalties:
    1. Seven-day vehicle seizure
    2. Towing fee amounting to $800 to $1000
    3. 90-day licence suspension
    4. Licence reinstatement fee amounting to $281 and criminal licence suspensions stay on the Ontario Drivers Abstract/Record for five years.
    5. Collision coverage cannot be applied in DUI cases.
  2. Following are penalties a driver will receive for impaired driving:
    1. A fine of $1000 to $2000
    2. A jail sentence for up to two years
    3. One-year licence suspension
    4. Mandatory testing for alcoholism
    5. Mandatory installation of an ignition interlock device for one year
      Installation cost – $1500
      Monthly testing fee – $130
      *An ignition interlock device is an alcohol breath screening device that will be installed inside your vehicle. Before you start your car, you need to blow into the device. If the device detects a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over the pre-set limit of 0.02 or 20 mg of alcohol per 100 ml. of blood, your vehicle won’t start.
    6. Mandatory participation in Back on Track Program
      *Back on Track is aprogram for individuals who have been charged with an impaired driving offence in Ontario. The program’s objective is to help participants“learn to separate drinking and other drug use from driving.”
    7. Insurance rates are significantly affected for drivers who have been convicted of DUI.
      Insurance companies will put the driver into high-risk or facility insurance rates of more than $10,000 for 5 to 10 years. This means your insurance cost could be $50,000 for only five years. On the other hand, some insurance companies will cancel a person’s insurance policy when charged with DUI.

FAQs

If I get a DUI, will it ruin my career?

No law in Canada says an individual charged with a DUI should be terminated from their job. However, many employers have requirements in their employee guidelines that give them the right to terminate an employee for committing criminal offences.

If driving is part of your job, you wouldn’t be able to do this because a DUI conviction comes with a 90-day suspension of your licence for the first offence alone. This suspension could be enough grounds for you to be fired. Other employers have a code of conduct that a DUI conviction violates. Also, a DUI conviction may come with a requirement for you to enroll in a substance abuse program. This means you will miss work. Some employers may allow this, but others may terminate your employment.

Can I get a job if I have a DUI on record?

If you apply for a job at a company that does not require a criminal background check, you don’t have to disclose your DUI to anybody. Even if the DUI conviction comes up on searching your records later, getting a job is not impossible. As long as you prove that you have a solid personal record despite the DUI conviction and you have an opportunity to explain what happened, you still have a chance to get a job. The DUI may still hurt your chances of getting hired, but it won’t automatically disqualify you for a position. It’s important to note that a DUI may block you off on jobs in banking and teaching as well as government occupations.

Do I have to disclose my DUI conviction to a potential employer?

When you apply for a job, most employers ask whether or not you have a criminal conviction. Unfortunately, a DUI is a criminal offence. You can hide the conviction during the application process and hope that the employer will not conduct a complete background check on you. However, if you are caught doing that, you may be immediately disqualified from the job.

Being charged with a DUI can significantly impact your life. Don’t take the risk of losing everything because of a DUI. Before taking a step further in dealing with authorities, contact KIVLAW defence lawyers today.

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