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‘Tis the Season to Get a Criminal Record

Drinking and Driving

What are the implications of an impaired driving conviction (also known as a DUI – driving under the influence)?

Depending on whom you ask, the answers can be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

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For those who have not been convicted of impaired driving, the major implication of impaired driving charges is the loss of driving privileges. In a car-centric society, the loss of your driver’s license can make it difficult to get to work, pick up your children or do your weekly errands.

Those are considerable consequences.

But for anyone convicted of impaired driving, the loss of a license is the least of their worries. Because now they have a criminal record. By itself, the record isn’t the issue, but how it affects your life makes problems like finding alternate transportation seem easy.

Impaired driving is one of the most common reasons why people get criminal records. In 2012, over 80,000 Canadians were convicted of impaired driving and they now face life with the consequences and stigma of a criminal record. Among other implications and complications, a criminal record can make it more difficult or impossible to:

  • Find a job
  • Travel
  • Adopt a child
  • Volunteer

Don’t Drive Impaired

The Ontario Provincial Police and other police services across the country have recently begun their annual holiday season checks for impaired drivers. In British Columbia, the RCMP will run their CounterAttack Program of road checks through December to enforce what are some of the toughest impaired driving laws on the continent. In BC, if you are found behind the wheel with over .05 blood-alcohol content, your driver’s license will be suspended for 24 hours. On the spot.

So it simply is not worth taking a chance. If you plan to enjoy a festive cocktail, or use narcotics as part of your celebrations, please do not drive.

You have options:

  • Ask someone in your party to be a sober designated driver – and reward them handsomely
  • Call a cab or take public transit
  • Look for Operation Red Nose in your area
  • Stay where you are (rent a room or stay at your friend’s house)

From everyone here at Pardon Applications of Canada, we hope you have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah and a safe and healthy holiday season.

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