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776 Penalties Impaired driving, driving while exceeding the legal blood alcohol limit, and refusing to provide a sample are all offences with serious penalties under the Canadian Criminal Code.
- Minimum fines, imprisonment, and driver's licence suspensionIf you refuse to provide a breath sample, or if a breath, blood or urine test indicates that you have exceeded the legal blood-alcohol limit, your driver's licence will be automatically suspended for 90 days. If you are subsequently found guilty of impaired driving or exceeding the legal limit of alcohol, or if you refuse to provide a breath, blood or urine sample, you will usually be subject to a minimum penalty of a $600 fine and a one year licence suspension if it is your first offence. For your second offence, you will usually be subject to a minimum penalty of 14 days in prison, and a minimum two year licence suspension.
For your third or subsequent offence, you will usually be subject to a minimum penalty of 90 days in prison and a lengthy licence suspension. The court may also order you to enroll in a drug or alcohol rehabilitation programme. If you were at fault for an accident and you were impaired, your automobile insurance policy will not cover damage to your vehicle and you may not be eligible to receive certain other benefits, such as income replacement benefits.
- Maximum fines, imprisonment, and driver's licence suspensionThe maximum penalty for all three offences is five years in prison and a $2000 fine. However, if someone was injured as a result of an accident, the maximum penalty is ten years in prison, and if someone was killed, the maximum penalty is fourteen years in prison.
If you have been charged with a criminal driving offence, you should consult a lawyer for assistance.