My First DUI in Ontario: Is the Punishment Unfair

In Ontario, Canada the laws regarding DUI are much stricter compared to those in other places

My First DUI in Ontario: Is the Punishment Unfair
DUI in Ontario: Punishment Experienced as a First Time Offender

In Ontario, Canada the laws regarding DUI are much stricter compared to those in other places. It doesn’t get lenient even for first-time offenders. Trying to talk to the authorities with the hope of getting off easy likely won’t work. Also, unlike other places, paying a fine and walking away after drunk driving in Ontario isn’t possible either.

Ontario frowns heavily upon impaired driving, regardless of whether it led to an aggravating circumstance (e.g. prior offenses, injury, or any form of collision) or not. First-time DUI in Ontario is uncompromising and if you find yourself in such a situation, below are the options you have:

 Option 1

If a DUI offender pleads guilty and the court sentences him/her within 90 days, the result is a 3-month driving suspension while an ignition interlock will be installed in the person’s car and it’ll remain in place for 9 months.

With an ignition interlock (also called car breathalyzer), your vehicle will be prevented from starting once it detects you have been drinking.

 Option 2

If you take your case to trial and then lose or the final sentencing took more than 90 days before it happened, the result is a 6-months driving suspension as well as getting an ignition interlock for 12 months.

Additionally, you’ll have to pay some fees, fines, and a few other expenses. All these are coupled with the major problem of being unable to drive a vehicle for some months. 


 As a first time DUI offender, the punishment in Ontario may seem too severe. However, after putting several things into consideration, you’ll realize that the strictness on DUI offenses is warranted.

Before, when first time offenses were casually dismissed, it ended badly. There was a high rate of alcohol-related road accidents, often resulting in deaths. As this proceeded, the province began to see the grave dangers in unchecked drunk driving.

Regardless if it was your first time being caught drinking and driving or not, DUI has always posed a great threat to life, both yours and those of other road commuters.  Besides, studies have revealed that an arrested drunk driver has likely been driving while under the influence several times before.

The measures put into place in Ontario serve different purposes: while the fines and driving are punitive, the ignition lock is educational. With these in place, offenders will become accustomed to the fact that they can no longer drink and drive.

Many people need to understand this lesson as there are a lot of repeat drunk-driving offenders in Ontario and the country at large. An ignition interlock is the most certain way of preventing an alcohol-impaired person from driving.  It is true that the laws regarding first-time DUI offenders in Ontario are harsh. However, if this bothers you so much, it is best to stop drinking and driving for good.
Updated Date: 26 August 2019, 10:10

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