I’m here to talk about the consequences or repercussions of pleading guilty or being found guilty to a first-time DUI.
Clients come into my office and they’re often very stressed and they’re looking for answers. And one of the first questions they asked is “what am I facing here?” So let’s take a typical example of someone who provided a reading of 120 to say 150 milligrams of alcohol in 100 milliliters of blood or was found guilty of impaired driving or pled guilty.
In this situation, first of all under our Criminal Code, they’re facing a mandatory minimum, a fine of $1,000. That’s the minimum. They’re also a victim fine surcharge on top of that of 30%. A judge is required to take their license also for a minimum of one year. Now, that can be up to three years, it could be two years, it could be three years. That’s often negotiable on your standard, you know, first-time DUI. You can often achieve a one-year.
The Ministry is also going to take your license for the same one-year period. They have a concurrent program where they also take your license. But, you’re facing far bigger repercussions than that. You’re facing the stigma of a criminal record which could affect your employment, and you know, stigma in the community. You’re also facing you know, very serious increases in your insurance rates. There’s been, if you go on, on websites, you’ll find this could be in thousands of dollars over, over a number of years. So, it’s quite a penalty you’re facing in this regard.
Now, one of the things that the promises brought in, which is a benefit to you is what’s called Stream A Ignition Interlock. And this is what that means, well, first of all, when you’re first charged, you’re going to lose your license for 90 days. That’s a 90-day administrative license suspension. There’s no negotiation for that. It’s automatic. The police officers going to take your license right away for 90 days.
You’re going to have a court appearance say six weeks from that and receive your disclosure. If you decide to plead guilty, you may want to take advantage, or try to take advantage of what’s called Stream A Ignition Interlock. That means, from the date you plead guilty, if you plead guilty within 89 days of the time you are charged, then the government may allow you to drive with an Ignition Interlock on your vehicle.
So, what’s going to happen is you plead guilty, say you plead guilty at day 77 after you’re charged. You plead guilty on that day, you’re going to lose your license for another 90 days and during that time period you apply for Stream A Ignition Interlock. And what happens there is, is if you qualify, if you sign up for the back on track program, you qualify for interlock with the Ministry of Transportation, they’re going to allow you to put a device in your car for nine months. So, you can drive for nine months.
So, let’s have a quick recap. You lose your administrative license suspension for 90 days. If you plead guilty within that time period, a new suspension starts which is a minimum of one year. Within 89 days, you get the, you have to apply and get the Ignition. You’ll plead guilty, get your interlock on your car but you’re going to lose your license for another 90 days and then be able to drive with a device in your car that you provide a breath sample into. So, there’s a lot of repercussions. Saying there’s, if you go on these websites, I’ve seen estimates as much as twenty to twenty-five thousand dollars that a DUI is going to cost you over the years including of course excessive insurance rates.
So, it often pays and it will pay to consider retaining a lawyer, you know, to negotiate the best possible outcome for you. Because these things have to be negotiated. That the fine amounts whether a judge will allow you to apply for a Stream A Ignition Interlock. So, you really should consider retaining a lawyer to get try and get the best outcome possible.