A person convicted of driving while impaired in British Columbia, in Manitoba, in Ontario – anywhere across Canada – will end up with a criminal record since a DUI is a criminal offence. The bottom line is that if you are driving under the influence of anything, you are breaking the law. You can be charged with a DUI even if your vehicle isn’t moving.
According to the Canadian Safety Foundation, an estimated 1.5 million Canadian drivers travel while impaired each year. DUI cases accounted for 12 percent of all cases heard across the country last year, making it the most common criminal offence. Although almost 30 percent of drunk driving cases that go to court don’t lead to convictions in Canada, why take the chance? With the consequences being so high, driving while impaired is NOT worth the risk.
The consequences of a DUI conviction are severe. A drunk driving charge may lead to:
- A criminal record, which may impede future employment, travel abroad, and community status
- A revoked license, which could make commuting to work difficult
- A long-term hike on your car insurance premiums, which will make owning and operating a vehicle less affordable
- A number of heavy fines, which can have a significant impact on your financial well being
- Collision costs – although your insurance company normally covers costs of an accident, it will not pay for drinking-related damages on any car involved in a crash.
Why do so many people still drive under the influence? Many individuals still feel that a couple of drinks will not make them unable to drive safely. In reality, after just a couple of drinks, you may not feel intoxicated; you might even feel that you are completely capable of driving. But legally, if your blood alcohol level is elevated, you are breaking the law.
The only way to be certain that you are not putting yourself and others in harm’s way is if you drink anything, don’t get behind the wheel.
If you are trying to cross the border and enter Canada with a DUI or other conviction, it’s likely you would be turned away at the border.
If you have a DUI conviction, you will want to consider getting a Pardon, which will seal your record so that it is no longer visible. A criminal record can follow you for life, so a Pardon will provide relief from the stigma once and for all. Contact a Client Specialist at Pardon Services Canada who will answer all your questions and guide you through the pardon process.