Coming Penalties for Impaired Driving, Exceed and Other Driving Crimes

S=Summary H=Hybrid I=Indictable

Offence descriptionCriminal Code SectionS/H/IMinimum penaltyDischarge availableMaximum Penalty (S)Maximum Penalty (I)
Dangerous Driving320.13(1)H yes2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
10 yrs.*
Dangerous Driving (injury to other person)320.13(2)H$1,000 fine for first offence; 30 days jail for second; 120 days jail thereafteryes (summary conviction)2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
14 yrs.
Dangerous Driving Causing Death320.13(3)I$1,000 fine for first offence; 30 days jail for second; 120 days jail thereafterlife imprisonment
Operation While Impaired
or Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC)
of 80 mg or more
320.14(1)(a), (b)H$1,000 fine for first offence; 30 days for second; 120 days for third*****2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
10 yrs.*
Operation with Illegal Blood Drug Concentration (BDC)320.14(1)(c)H$1,000 fine for first offence; 30 days for second; 120 days for third***2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
10 yrs.*
Operation with Illegal BDC
Combined with Illegal BAC
320.14(1)(d)H$1,000 fine for first offence; 30 days for second; 120 days for third***2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
10 yrs.*
Operation with Lower Illegal BDC
but under higher proscribed level
320.14(4)S yes6 mos./
$1,000 fine
 
Impaired Driving or Driving with 80 mg or More Causing Bodily Harm320.14(2)H$1,000 fine for first offence; 30 days for second; 120 days for third2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
14 yrs.
Impaired Driving or Driving with 80 mg or more Causing Death320.14(3)I$1,000 fine for first offence; 30 days jail for second; 120 days jail thereafter  life imprisonment
Refuse or fail to provide a breath sample
or other bodily substance
320.15(1)H$2,000 fine for first offence; 30 days for second; 120 days for third*** 2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
10 yrs.*
Refuse or fail to comply with demand
to do physical tests or drug impairment evaluation
320.15(1)H$2,000 fine for first offence; 30 days for second; 120 days for third*** 2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
10 yrs.*
Refuse or fail knowing or reckless as to
whether they were in an accident resulting in bodily harm to another person
320.15(2)S$1,000 fine**** for first offence; 30 days jail for second; 120 days jail thereafter2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
14 yrs.
Refuse or fail knowing or reckless as to
whether they were in an accident resulting in a person’s death
320.14(3)I$1,000 fine**** for first offence; 30 days jail for second; 120 days jail thereafter  life imprisonment
Fail to Stop at Scene of Accident320.16(1)H yes2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
10 yrs.*
Fail to Stop at Scene of Accident
(knowing or reckless as to whether another person hurt in accident)
320.16(2)H$1,000 fine for first offence; 30 days jail for second; 120 days jail thereafteryes (summary conviction)2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
14 yrs.
Fail to Stop at Scene of Accident
(knowing or reckless as to whether person died from accident)
320.16(3)I$1,000 fine for first offence; 30 days jail for second; 120 days jail thereafter  life imprisonment
Flee Police320.17Hyes2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
10 yrs.*
Drive Disqualified320.18Hyes2 yrs. less a day/
$5,000 fine
10 yrs.*

* Permanent residents convicted of a driving offence that carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in jail become inadmissible to Canada as a result of serious criminality. Deportation, however, is not automatic. If you’ve been charged with a driving offence and you’re not a citizen, consult an immigration lawyer.

If you can get a discharge rather than a conviction you will avoid inadmissibility. But note: you cannot receive a discharge for impaired driving, exceed or refuse.

** A curative discharge is no longer available.

*** The court will not have to impose the minimum punishment or a driving prohibition if you successfully complete a substance-abuse treatment program after being found guilty and before sentencing. You’ll need the Crown’s consent and court approval to have sentencing delayed for this purpose.

**** Curiously, a higher minimum fine of $2,000 applies where no bodily harm or death ensues.

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