Tougher Sanctions for Suspended Drivers

Car getting towed away due to suspended driver
Editor’s Note: This article was originally posted in 2010 regarding changes to the law regarding Drive Suspend. Since knowledge of all these things are still relevant and not known necessarily that well publicly, we’re re-posting it here from the old site.

As of December 1st 2010, the Ontario Government and the Ministry of Transportation have implemented another part of the Road Safety Act, 2009. This part of the Road Safety Act, has to do with the impounding of vehicles which are being driven by suspended drivers.

In short this portion of the Act gives the officer the authority to impound the vehicle on the spot if the driver is:
 Driving over the legal limit (.08) or failing and/or refusing to provide a breath sample
 Unpaid Family Support- Highway Traffic Act Suspension
 Driving without an Ignition Interlock Device when one is required
 Or if your license is suspended for Highway Traffic Offenses such as:
 Demerit Point suspensions
 Careless Driving, Stunt Driving, Driving while suspended,

A notable exception is that defaulted fines resulting in suspension will not lead to the impounding of a vehicle.

The impounding lasts for 7 days and is not appealable, This is part of the government’s policy that you are responsible for knowing the status of who is driving the car along with promoting their phone and internet ways to check the status of a driver’s license. The exception to this is that if a Police Officer may direct the release of the impounded motor vehicle before the 7 days are up if they believe the car was stolen at the time of it being driven.

In all cases, the owner of the car is responsible for paying the fees related the towing and storing of the car before it is released to them. The owner may attempt to recover the costs from the Driver via a court action if the Driver is not willing to pay for this. Exact methods of how impounding are handled for these vary on location as they are the responsibility of the police and not the Ministry of Transportation for 7 day suspensions (including Stunt Driving suspensions).

Large Commercial Vehicles (Those weighing over 3000 kilograms) are offered an alternative program. This alternative says that as long as the driver has not been suspended for 100 or more days, the vehicle will not be impounded, for Highway Traffic Act suspensions. This does not apply for suspensions of over 100 days, having a blood alcohol level of over .08 or lacking an ignition interlock device when one is required. In any circumstance the driver still faces all penalties for Driving Under Suspension and any other applicable charges and is not allowed to continue the trip.

The reasoning given for this is that 100 days is enough for business’ to conduct quarterly license reviews, the higher costs of towing a larger vehicle (estimated at 1200 to 1500 by the ministry), the number of passengers a bus may have, the issue with having trailers stranded and needing a new driver and vehicle to continue the trip. For those who do not meet the alternative programs restrictions, the vehicle will be impounded.

The Ministry of Transportation announcement can be read at

P.S. A conviction for Driving Under Suspension carries a minimum fine of $1000 (in addition to substantial surcharges) for a first offence, and up to 6 months in jail. We strongly recommend any individual charged with Driving while Driver’s Licence Suspended, seek legal advice at the earliest opportunity and not drive any more!

P.P.S. To find out if a person is suspended or not the MTO provides some tools:
– First you can call 1-900-565-6555 with the driver’s license and check. A charge of $2.50 will be added to your phone bill.
– Second you can check online at the MTO Website at $2.00 payable by credit card
– Last you can order a driver’s abstract either online or at a service ontario centre, though that option is normally only available for yourself. Read more about Drive Abstracts on the MTO Site here.

The Magic G

Editor’s Note: This article was written a couple years ago to discuss the value of a G license as many people don’t realize the value it has compared to a G2. This still holds true today, and it required minimal updating for reposting. I hope you enjoy!

One of the most underrated things as far as driving goes in Ontario is that of a G license. Many people get their G1 or G2 and are happy driving on those not knowing the costs they cause themselves inadvertently. What can G do for you? Let’s see…

Lower Insurance Cost

Your insurance cost doesn’t start lowering in any real amount until you’ve got your G license. The G license tells the insurance company that you’ve complete road tests and are judged fully capable on the road so they start counting your safety rating from that time.
Higher Demerit Point Cap

No one wants to get demerit points and for the most part people aren’t given many tickets. Regardless though at some point everyone can bend a rule in an officer’s opinion or speeding or have your tires still moving at a stop sign… any of them get you some points.

On a G2 license you have a cap of 9 points, a letter from the ministry with any points and a meeting with the ministry at 6 points where you can be suspended. Compared to a G license – where you get a letter at 6, a meeting at 9 and a cap of 15 when you’re off the road.

Not only that, but with a G2 license, any ticket with 4 or more demerit points gets you an automatic suspension! No questions asked; it’s a 30 day suspension that arrives in the mail after you pay the ticket, compliments of the MTO. Any G2 driver should always consult Browne & Associates Legal Services before paying a ticket.

Lifting of G2 License Restrictions

The G2 License has numerous restrictions on it to help make Ontario’s roads safer and to let drivers learn with lesser risk scenarios (or so goes the theory). Upon getting your G you are no longer required to follow these. The restrictions are:

  • Absolutely no alcohol in system – regardless of age
  • If you are 19 years old or younger, you no longer have restricted passengers between midnight and 5 a.m.

All of these are reasons to get your G license as quickly as you can – and we encourage you to help yourself, GET YOUR G.

Browne & Associates Legal Services Professional Corporation