FAQs

Will I go to jail if I drive while impaired?

Depending on the circumstances of your impaired driving offence, you could be sentenced to a period of jail if you are convicted. This is especially so if the impaired driving resulted in a person being injured or killed. There are also mandatory minimum periods of jail for repeat offenders starting at 30 days for a second offence and 120 days for a third offence. In addition to periods of incarceration, you are facing significant fines, driving prohibitions and a criminal record that could significantly affect your car insurance premiums, employment, immigration status and ability to travel. 

Will I go to jail if I drive while impaired?

If this is your first offence for impaired driving, driving over 0.08 or refusing to provide a sample of breath, and you didn’t cause bodily harm or death, the chances of you being sentenced to jail are very slim. You are however facing mandatory minimum fines and a driving prohibition. This is in addition to the 90-day driving suspension you will receive immediately after you are charged. After the 90-day period expires, you will be forced to install the Interlock device for a period of 12 months. If you choose not to install the device, you will face a combined period of 15 months without the ability to drive. This suspension applies whether you are found guilty or not.

Penalties for Impaired Driving

Impaired by Alcohol

Charge:

  • Alcohol-impaired driving
  • Having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at or over 80mg per 100ml of blood within 2 hours of driving

Penalty:

  • 1st offence: Mandatory minimum $1000 fine; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • 2nd offence: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • 3rd offence: Mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Impaired by Drug

Charge:

  • Drug-impaired driving
  • Having 5ng or more of THC per ml of blood within 2 hours of driving
  • Any detectable level of LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, ketamine, PCP, cocaine, methamphetamine, 6-mam within 2 hours of driving
  • Having 5mg or more of GHB per 1 litre of blood within 2 hours of driving

Penalty:

  • 1st offence: Mandatory minimum $1000 fine; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • 2nd offence: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • 3rd offence: Mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Combination

Charge: Having a BAC of 50mg per 100ml of blood + 2.5ng or more of THC per 1ml of blood within 2 hours of driving

Penalty:

  • 1st offence: Mandatory minimum $1000 fine; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • 2nd offence: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • 3rd offence: Mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Refusal to comply with demand for sample

Penalty:

  • 1st offence: Mandatory minimum $2000 fine
  • 2nd offence: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • 3rd offence: Mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Drug-impaired driving – Summary conviction

Charge: Having over 2ng but less than 5ng of THC per ml of blood within 2 hours of driving

Penalty: Maximum $1000 fine

Charge: Impaired driving causing bodily harm

Penalty:

  • Summary conviction: maximum 2 years imprisonment less a day
  • Indictment: maximum 14 years imprisonment

Charge: Impaired driving causing death

Penalty:

  • Indictment: Maximum life imprisonment

Charge: 1st offence + BAC of 80-119 ml

Penalty: mandatory minimum $1000 fine

Charge: 1st offence + BAC of 120-159ml

Penalty: mandatory minimum $1500 fine

Charge: 1st offence + BAC of 160 mg or more

Penalty: mandatory minimum $2000 fine

Will I go to jail if I drive while impaired?

Hire an Experienced Impaired Driving Lawyer

If you have been charged with an impaired driving offence including driving over 0.08 or refusing to provide a sample of breath, you need an experienced impaired driving lawyer. Call Cory Wilson today for a free, no obligation consultation. 

About Cory Wilson

Cory has represented individuals from all walks of life including lawyers, police officers, athletes, corporate executives, teachers, and everything in between. Cory believes in access to justice for every person charged with a criminal offence regardless of their economic background.