How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record?

If you have been charged with a DUI, you may be wondering how long a DUI will stay on your record. This article will answer that question and will help you understand how common impaired driving is in Canada.

In Canada, a DUI or impaired driving, is a serious offence. It has been recognized as a criminal act in Canada since 1921. According to Statistics Canada, “Impaired driving is a major public safety issue in Canada.”

In addition to lives lost, impaired driving also places a significant financial load on Canadian taxpayers because of policing costs. There has been a decrease in impaired driving cases over the last ten years, but it is still the most common criminal offence brought to adult criminal court.


“Robert Kivlichan and his team took care of my DUI and kept costs down. I would highly recommend!”

D.J. – Hamilton

DUI Under the Canadian Criminal Code

Under the Criminal Code, Canadians are prohibited from driving while their ability to operate a vehicle is impaired by alcohol or drugs. Individuals with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood can be charged with driving while impaired.

The blood alcohol concentration level (BAC) can be measured using a breathalyzer. This device has a small tube.  The driver is asked to blow into the tube if a police officer suspects that the driver has been drinking.

It is important to note that a driver does not have to be over the 0.08 limit to be charged with DUI if driving recklessly while alcohol is in their system.

Police can charge a driver with impaired driving if a vehicle was in their “care or control” while their BAC is above 0.08. “Care and control” can mean the individual sitting behind the wheel, even if the vehicle is not running. Law enforcement officers have the right to arrest a driver if they have reasonable suspicion that the driver has committed any of these acts in the three hours before police questioned them.

How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Record in Canada?

A first DUI offence is a misdemeanour, but a third DUI record is a felony. A DUI on your driving record can stay up to 80 years. DUI charges will never go away automatically. Your license will be suspended, but you will get it back after a certain period. Unfortunately, the DUI record will remain in the Ministry of Transportation. This can make it difficult for you to find a job that involves driving a vehicle.  Your insurance costs will increase dramatically.

A DUI can take away many of your rights. There is a possibility of losing your job and, in some cases, losing your rights to child custody or to own firearms.

Can I prevent a DUI from going on my record?

If you are charged with a DUI, it would be best to consult a highly skilled DUI lawyer who will help you fight the charge. Your DUI lawyer will review public records that cover police activity at the time of your arrest, and he will compare that with your testimony. If the lawyer finds instances where the arresting officer might have violated proper procedure, your case could be dismissed. If there are no improper procedures and you think that you are in a situation where you are likely to be found guilty of a DUI, in that case, an experienced lawyer may be able to negotiate a settlement. They may also convince the court that the incident should be charged as a summary conviction instead of being treated as a major offence. However, if you do get a DUI on your record, an expert DUI lawyer can guide you on what steps you should take to help mitigate the damage to your reputation.

“Everyone makes mistakes, but a DUI is a costly mistake. I have successfully helped many clients charged with a DUI. I go through everything that transpired during the incident. I build effective defence strategies and help my clients get their life back.”

Robert W.H. Kivlichan
DUI Lawyer, Founding Partner, KIVLAW DEFENCE LAWYERS

Can I Get a DUI Pardon?

You can get a DUI pardon in Canada.

  • If you are not convicted of a DUI, you can apply for the removal of the DUI from your record.  This means that authorities will remove all DUI charges against your name.
  • If you are convicted, you must apply for a pardon if you want the DUI removed from your record.

If you are given a DUI pardon, you will no longer have a criminal record. You can get all your rights and privileges back. But certain authorities can still do a criminal background check and find your name.

DUI charges will also require you to pay a fine even if there were no casualties. It would be best to pay the fine as soon as possible. You will have the ability to get the pardon five years after you pay the fine. It is best to start the pardon process at least 12 to 20 months before the 5-year period ends.

The complete pardon process will cost you $625 plus other extra costs. You will also pay the Receiver General $631. After fulfilling this, your pardon will be approved.

To ensure that the pardon process will be seamless, you should make the pardon application with your lawyer’s support.

Robert Kivlichan can guide you on the best course of action if you have been charged with DUI. He will assist you and ensure that you will be treated fairly throughout the entire process.


Will a single DUI ruin my reputation?

A single DUI will not ruin your reputation. If the DUI is your first offence, it is a misdemeanour. If you hire a good DUI lawyer, you can fight the case. If you are convicted, you can expect a few minor changes to your driving routine.

Does a DUI affect your credit score?

Having a DUI on record can affect your life significantly, but it is not likely to affect your credit score. So, don’t worry. Your DUI will not be reflected on your credit report.