An impaired driving charge and conviction isn’t something to be taken lightly. The most critical thing that can happen is a serious injury or death, which of course not only includes the impaired driver, but innocent victims too. This includes friends who get into a vehicle with an impaired driver.
But impaired driving, even if a serious injury or death doesn’t occur, can result in many other consequences which have serious effects on lives.
Firstly, an impaired driving conviction in Alberta automatically results in a one year license suspension. Unless you live in a major urban centre with substantial public transit, this license suspension could have disastrous results on your employment., family and personal life.
Secondly, impaired driving is a Criminal Code offense; if convicted, you now have a criminal record. When applying for jobs, any background check will turn up this criminal record which at the very least can be embarrassing, and at worst can severely limit employment opportunities. In addition, traveling can be hampered if foreign countries are involved. It’s not unusual for foreign countries, including the United States, to bar entry to someone with a criminal record.
Thirdly, after your impaired driving conviction, your insurance rates could go up dramatically.
This is an excerpt from a reddit.com-edmonton conversation posted on that website about a year ago. A question had been asked about how expensive auto insurance would be for a person with an impaired driving conviction. One response read:
“Your best option is to find a broker who can shop around for you.
“I’m an insurance broker and I can tell you this is your best option. A broker’s job is to shop around for you and quote through multiple companies. This will save you a lot of time and hassle shopping around for yourself.
“The DUI will impact your policy for three years and you will want to expect premiums around $9,000 to $12,000 depending on the type of coverage you have.
“All companies in Alberta will be able to offer you coverage due to the regulation that states they cannot decline to insure you. It will all depend on who can give you the best price.
“How old is the DUI? And do you still have a suspension on your license? Do you have a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle? These are all things that will impact the policy you are trying to set up.”
With the transit options available in the Wetaskiwin and Leduc areas, including family, friends, taxis and public transit, it pays to think twice about impaired driving.
Impaired driving continues to plague Alberta, and the situation exists in both rural and urban areas.
RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Laurel Scott said July 22 at the Pipestone Flyer office that it doesn’t seem impaired driving is a thing of the past yet. But she noted members of the public seem more mindful about reporting suspected impaired drivers to police.
Looking at impaired driving convictions in Leduc County in 2015, there were 112 in total. There were also 76 roadside suspensions which were alcohol related, but not criminal code.
This year, up to July 15, Leduc County has seen 57 people charged for impaired driving, which Scott noted is slightly less than the same point last year.
In the City of Leduc 2015, 103 impaired driving convictions occurred with 85 roadside suspensions.
So far this year, 55 persons have been charged with impaired driving.