Brian Ducharme
251 Goyeau Street, Suite 405
Windsor, Ontario N9A 6V2

(519) 977-5500
(519) 977-1600 (fax)


Pleading Guilty to DUI Is Never a Solution

Brian Ducharme October 23, 2012

Windsor Ontario DUI Lawyer

The Ignition Interlock Program

In 2010, the province of Ontario implemented the new Ignition Interlock Program, designed to entice first time offenders to plead guilty to their DUI charges, instead of going to trial to fight the conviction.   The aim is to keep the increasing number of these cases from congesting the courts.

New offenders will typically receive a letter from the Ministry of Transportation informing them they are eligible to apply for a  “Reduced Suspension Program”, if they plead guilty within the first 90 days of their offence.  Those who qualify may have their licenses reinstated in just 3 months instead of a year, if all of the requirements are met.

In this program, offenders must attend and complete Back on Track classes, that focus on responsible drinking, and they must also have an Ignition Interlock installed in their vehicle for a minimum of one year.  An Ignition Interlock is a device, much like a breathalyzer, that requires the driver to blow into it prior to starting their car, and prevents the car from starting if it detects a preset level of alcohol on the driver’s breath.

The Back on Track program is about $600, and there are additional fees for the installation and the monthly lease of the Ignition Interlock.  Adding insult to injury, they must also pay to have it removed from their vehicle at the end of the program.

Consequences of Pleading Guilty

When you’re faced with the option to fight your impaired driving offence, or plead guilty, it is important to remember that the consequences of this decision can be life lasting and life changing.

Many assume it’s a quick and easy solution, especially when they are encouraged by the province to plead guilty in order to get back behind the wheel in 3 “short” months.   

While pleading guilty may initially seem like a quick way way to put the impaired charge behind you and move on, what many fail to realize is that ironically, pleading guilty is a sentence that you will never be able to get away from.  Your criminal record will follow you everywhere for the rest of your life.

If you’re caught driving while you license is suspended, you will go to jail and receive a 3 year license suspension on your second offence.
If you’re caught driving without your Ignition Interlock, your car will be impounded for seven days, and anyone who drives your vehicle will also have to blow into the device before they can drive.  The Ignition Interlock will also have to be installed into any other vehicle you drive. 

You will experience difficulty qualifying for some of the most respected, professional, well-paying careers, such as teaching, law enforcement, any government position, as well as an endless list of other professional vocations.

You will most likely have a criminal record for the rest of your life.  Upcoming changes to legislation are not expected to permit the erasure of impaired driving convictions from you record, and pardons now take much, much longer than they used to.

In addition to the thousands in costs for outstanding fines, the Back on Track classes, the Ignition Interlock installation, insurance and lease.  Most financially devastating is the fact that your car insurance rates will be astronomical.  

Problems Travelling Across U.S. Border

If you work or travel to the United States, you could be denied entry with an impaired driving conviction on your record.

If you frequently cross the border for work, you may already have a Nexus card.  This card allows for faster border crossings for those low-risk travelers who have already applied for and have obtained a pre-approved security clearance to cross the border.

Once you’re convicted of impaired driving, there is a good chance your criminal charge would show on your permanent record with the Department of Homeland Security, and your Nexus card could be permanently confiscated.

Applicants for Nexus cards must be pre-screened for any criminal histories by both the U.S. and Canada.  If an impaired driving conviction shows up, the application is denied without question.

As a rule, Canada does not allow persons with a DUI conviction to enter this country. 

Never Assume You Can't Win

Impaired driving cases, when fought with the help of an experienced, successful DUI attorney like Brian Ducharme, are frequently won.

Many of those who opt to plead guilty, neglect to take into consideration the extra costs incurred over time, when increased car insurance rates and the added difficulty in finding employment are also factored in.

The amount of these extra costs as a result of a guilty plea, multiplied over several years … without question outweigh the cost of hiring Brian Ducharme to fight on your behalf.

Brian Ducharme is the DUI lawyer you need on your side to win your DUI case. 

Criminal Defence and DUI News

Your Right to Trial Within a Reasonable Time • Brian Ducharme • February 13, 2013

Pleading Guilty to DUI Is Never a Solution • Brian Ducharme • October 23, 2012

Windsor One of the Worst Speed Trap Locations in North America • The Windsor Star • August 29, 2012

Contact Brian Ducharme