What happens if you’re convicted of a DUI in one province, and reside in another? Can you escape the consequences of a DUI conviction once you cross provincial borders?
These are important questions for anyone who frequently travels within Canada, and in this article, we’ll explore the intricacies of how DUI convictions can cross provincial lines and what this means for you.
Does DUI Transfer from Province to Province: Interprovincial Impact of DUI Convictions
DUI is not just a provincial matter; it’s a federal criminal offence under Canada’s Criminal Code. This means that if you’re convicted of DUI in any province, the repercussions of that conviction will follow you to your home province. Whether you’re in Toronto and get a DUI in British Columbia or vice versa, the driver’s DUI licence suspension ordered by the court applies in both provinces.
Your home province’s transportation ministry will receive notification about the out-of-province DUI, leading to a licence suspension issued by the local authorities.
So, there’s no escaping it – if convicted, your licence will be suspended, regardless of where you go.
DUI: Provincial and Federal Penalties
In Canada, DUI convictions involve a nuanced interplay between federal and provincial laws, each contributing to the tapestry of consequences. While the federal Criminal Code defines core DUI offences, provinces introduce their specific elements, leading to a multifaceted legal landscape.
Federal DUI Offences (Under the Criminal Code of Canada):
- Impaired Driving: Operating a motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.
- Exceeding Legal BAC Limit: Having a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit (for instance, over 80 charge).
- Drug Concentration Violations: Exceeding prescribed drug concentration levels.
- Refusal to Provide Tests: Refusing to provide breath tests or blood tests when requested.
- Operating While Impaired: Taking control of a vehicle while impaired.
- DUI Resulting in Harm or Death: DUI offences causing bodily harm or death.
The Criminal Code also sets penalties. First-time DUI convictions generally entail a one-year driving ban and fines ranging from $1,000 to $2,000, dependent on factors like BAC levels. Repeat offences result in mandatory minimum jail sentences.
However, it doesn’t end there. Provinces also introduce their impaired driving penalties. These provincial variations may encompass the following:
- Mandatory education and treatment programs.
- Roadside license suspensions (prior to conviction).
- Vehicle impoundment.
- Ignition interlock requirements.
- Additional fines.
- Licence reinstatement fees etc.
For example, there are specific impaired driving penalties in Ontario, while in British Columbia or Manitoba they may differ. So, navigating DUI convictions in Canada demands an understanding of both federal and provincial laws, as they converge to shape the consequences and obligations you might face.
Challenges of an Out-of-Province DUI
Facing an out-of-province DUI arrest can pose significant challenges. Imagine having to travel halfway across the country, possibly multiple times, for court appearances. It’s not just an inconvenience; it can impact your work and daily life significantly.
Moreover, skipping court hearings is not an option, as this can lead to a warrant for your arrest and additional criminal charges, which could result in imprisonment for up to two years.
Can I Drive in Another Province if My License is Suspended for DUI in Ontario?
Our clients often ask this question. But the answer is NO! – If your driver’s licence is suspended for a DUI in Ontario, you are not permitted to drive in another province in Canada.
DUI suspensions are not confined to the province where they occurred; they are federal and apply throughout Canada. Therefore, even if you were to travel to another province, your suspension would still be in effect, and driving would be prohibited until your suspension period has concluded and you’ve met all the requirements to reinstate your license.
It’s crucial to adhere to the terms of your suspension to avoid further legal consequences and complications.
For navigating out-of-province DUI charges, consulting an experienced DUI lawyer is paramount. At X-COPS, we specialize in handling such cases.
Our team excels in unravelling the complexities of arresting province DUI laws and their interaction with your home province’s regulations. Beyond this, our skilled impaired driving lawyers are adept at constructing robust defences to address your challenges, potentially resulting in favourable outcomes like withdrawn charges, dismissals, acquittals, or reduced charges.
Don’t hesitate – contact us today for a FREE consultation. With X-COPS, you have dedicated allies in your DUI defence journey.