Drivers convicted of impaired driving under the Criminal Code of Canada or who have had driving privileges suspended three times (or more) within ten years for impaired driving will be ordered to participate in the Ignition Interlock Program. An Ignition Interlock is a handheld breathalyzer that is connected to the ignition switch. The driver will not be able to start their car if they have been drinking.

Fees for Ignition Interlock Program

Once a driver has had their licence reinstated, they can participate in this program. While you might be grateful for the chance to drive again, it’s important that you understand that this program is at your expense. Your fees will include:

  • Monthly monitoring
  • Monthly rent
  • Security deposit or loss prevention plan
  • Surcharges for installation and removal in special vehicles
  • Transferring the device to a different vehicle
  • Fees for unscheduled services, unlock codes, and missed appointments

At a minimum, you will likely pay about $100 per month. If the device is lost, stolen, or damaged, you will be charged $1000 or more to replace it. There is also an early termination fee of close to $300.

Once the Ignition Interlock device is installed, it is inspected regularly by the service provider.

Penalties for Driving Without an Ignition Interlock Device

Suppose you are required to install an Ignition Interlock device on your vehicle and are caught driving a car that is not equipped with one. In that case, you will face the following fines:

  • $200-$20,000 for commercial vehicles
  • $200-$1,000 for other types of motor vehicles

If you are in the ignition interlock program due to a Criminal Code conviction, your vehicle can also be impounded according to the following schedule:

  • First offence: 45 days
  • Second offence: 90 days
  • Third (or subsequent) offence: 180 days

If you are in the program due to administrative suspensions, your vehicle can be impounded for seven days.

Other Costs of an Impaired Driving Conviction

There are other costs of an impaired driving charge or conviction in Ontario. Consider these financial costs:

Administrative Licence Suspension

Your licence is immediately suspended for 90 days when you are arrested for impaired driving. Your vehicle is impounded for seven days, and you will also have to pay a $180 administrative penalty.

Legal Fees

The cost to hire an Ontario impaired driving/DUI lawyer can range from $5,000 to $10,000 or more, depending on the case’s complexity and the trial’s length.


There is a minimum fine of $1,000 and a one-year driving suspension on conviction for first-time offenders. The judge can choose to impose a higher fine if the breath readings are elevated or the case involves bad driving. This circumstance includes an accident.

Back on Track Program

You must attend an alcohol education program before your licence can be reinstated. The program costs $634; the fee covers an assessment, education, treatment, and follow-up.

Licence Reinstatement Fee

After you complete the Back on Track program, you will have to pay an additional $180 as a licence reinstatement fee.

Car Insurance

Before you get behind the wheel, you’ll need to arrange for car insurance. Your insurer will consider your impaired driving conviction when setting the rate for your policy. It puts you into a higher-risk category, which means you will likely be paying a few thousand dollars a year for coverage.

Why You Need an Impaired Driving/DUI Defence Lawyer to Prevent a Conviction

If you have been charged with impaired driving/DUI in Toronto, Kitchener, London, Windsor, or anywhere else in Ontario, it may seem like a conviction is just a formality, which is not the case. Given the financial consequences of a conviction, you’ll want to carefully consider the implications of a guilty plea. An experienced impaired driving/DUI defence lawyer will carefully examine the facts in your case to determine the best way to defend you. They will assess whether the police collected evidence correctly and whether your constitutional rights were respected during your arrest.

With so much at stake, it pays to get an expert opinion before entering a plea in an impaired driving/DUI case. Kruse Law Firm can help you avoid a criminal conviction and minimize the consequences of a criminal charge on your life. Contact us today at 1-800-699-0806 to arrange your free case review.

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