Most residents of Ontario are likely aware that under some circumstances, if they are convicted of drunk driving they could end up spending time in jail. They may not be aware that there are other ways that drunk driving could impact their lives as well. Some of these consequences arise without a conviction, and possibly even without a criminal charge.
For example, it is possible that someone in Ontario whose blood alcohol content is under .08 (the legal limit) but above .05, could have their license suspended. Because this is an administrative penalty, one need not be charged with a crime for this to occur. The length of suspensions possible varies but starts at three days.
A license suspension, could lead to further consequences. In some situations it is possible that it could impact how much someone pays for insurance. Should an insurance company look at the insured driver's abstract and discover the suspension, it is possible that could be used as a reason to increase the rates paid. Over time this could have a great financial impact.
According to insurance regulator the Financial Services Commission of Ontario, for a license suspension to be used as a reason to hike rates, it needs to be considered 'predictive of risk' as laid out in the Insurance Act and Regulation 664.
There is no question that a drunk driving stop should be taken seriously. To keep the consequences related to this activity to a minimum, in many situations a criminal defense lawyer can be of assistance.