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Impaired Driving

 

Alcohol is still a contributing factor in close to 40 per cent of all driver fatal crashes on Canadian roads.
In 1998, 40 per cent of all fatally injured drivers had some alcohol in their bloodstream. Close to 60 per cent of fatally injured drivers who were impaired had a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 150 mg% or greater, or close to twice the federal legal limit.

Many people feel they are exempt from the devastation of drinking and driving. They believe it will never happen to them. The reality is if anyone consumes alcohol and then drives, it is everyone's problem.

Most people are aware that if they are convicted of impaired driving, impaired driving causing death or vehicular manslaughter, they may face a jail sentence, and they will have their licence suspended. Not many people know that there are a number of other penalties stemming from an impaired driving conviction.

Criminal Record
When you are convicted of impaired driving or any related impaired charges, you immediately receive a criminal record. This record follows you for the rest of your life. Employers, police, insurance companies and customs agents have access to this information. A criminal record can prevent you from obtaining certain types of employment. Countries can deny you access at the border because of your criminal record.
Financial Burden

A fine for impaired driving is one of the smallest of the financial worries you will have if you are convicted of impaired driving. If you are charged with impaired driving, on average, to enter a guilty plea it will cost you between $1,000 and $1,500. If you wish to plead innocent and mount a defense, it will cost you on average from $4,000 to $10,000 (or more), depending upon the circumstances. These figures represent the legal fees only. 
Your insurance company will not cover any injuries you sustained or damage to your vehicle if you are convicted. Your motor vehicle insurance is void if you were driving under the influence of alcohol. Your insurance premiums will skyrocket if you are convicted. Your partner / spouse and children may also experience insurance premium increases or have difficulties obtaining insurance at all.

Conviction, in many provinces, can also leave you - personally - open to a negligence lawsuit. Courts in Canada can award very high settlements to victims of impaired drivers.

Personal / Family Suffering

What about your reputation? People will probably be disappointed and may begin to lose trust in you. Your name may appear in newspapers. If you hurt or kill anyone, your partner, other family members and friends who love you may find it difficult to support you.

Think about your self-respect. A conviction could change the way you view yourself. Being the cause of pain and suffering of others can bring you intense feelings of guilt and remorse which can impact all aspects of your life.

Freedom

Depending on the impaired driving or related charges for which you are being tried, and whether you have been previously convicted on one of these charges, you may face a prison sentence upon conviction.

Beyond time spent in prison, your freedom of movement will be further curtailed because your licence will be suspended, perhaps for years. Alternate transportation is not always as reliable or convenient as having a vehicle at your disposal.

If you previously relied on being able to operate a motor vehicle for employment, you may have to seek other employment. A criminal record will make it much harder to find work.

Defense
There are only two ways to ensure none of these penalties will not affect you. Very simply, DON'T DRINK, AND DRIVE, and IF YOU KNOW THAT YOUR GOING TO DRIVE, DON'T DRINK.
 
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