Greater Sudbury Police are hoping the threat of an unnecessary financial pinch will deter drivers from driving drunk.

Cst. John Coluzzi says some of the costs start as soon as officers pull a motorist over. The driver must pay for towing and storage of their vehicle. That could run close to $500.

After a roadside screening, police bring a suspected impaired driver to police headquarters to use an intoxilyzer to better determine blood alcohol levels

Then the driver must hire a lawyer and pay for legal fees and court costs. Depending on the lawyer's price tag that could run between $2,000 and $10,000.

There is the criminal code fine to pay, which starts at a minimum $1,000.

The convicted impaired driver must go through an alcohol education and treatment program. According to the Ontario Ministry of Transportation, that $600 cost is required if the driver wants their licence back.

As well, under the ministry's guidelines, convicted impaired drivers must also have an ignition interlock installed in their vehicle, which costs around $1,900. Every time the motorist wants to drive their vehicle they must provide a breathe sample into this device.


If a convicted impaired driver wants their Ontario licence back they must have an Ignition Interlock installed in their vehicle. They must blow into the device each time they want to drive their vehicle.

'Just not worth it'

The most expensive costs on the list is the increase to car insurance rates after an impaired driving conviction, Coluzzi says. And depending on the insurance company, that could run about $5,500 per year. Over three years, that adds up to $16,500.

The total costs could be different for each driver depending on how much they have to fork over in legal or court fees or how much insurance rates increase following the impaired driving conviction.

And if a driver can't afford their new higher insurance rates, they may attempt to drive without insurance. That means if they're caught by police without insurance that could turn into more fines and new legal costs.

Coluzzi said there is also added emotional or physical costs associated with an impaired driving conviction. Some people may lose their marriage or their job because of their mistake. Others find their physical or mental health failing due to stress.

And, if an impaired driver seriously injures or kills someone in a collision, there is no amount of money that can compensate for this loss of life. 

There are always options to drinking and driving, Coluzzi said. People can call a cab, call a friend, spend the night, take transit or walk.

"Make the right decision so you don't have to deal with the added costs of impaired driving," Coluzzi said.

"[And] your family doesn't have to deal with the consequences of your bad decision."


Source: CBC News


Last updated on: 2016-09-05 | Link to this post