All impaired driving offences in Canada have mandatory minimum sentences. The minimum sentence will depend on the offender’s prior record for impaired driving offences. For a first offence, the minimum sentence is a $1,000 fine and a one year driving prohibition. Typically, the offender will be fined higher than the minimum. The judge hearing the case will listen to the particular circumstances of the offence to determine if the fine should be raised or lowered based on aggravating and mitigating factors. In rare circumstances, first time offenders without prior records have received jail sentences for impaired driving.

For offenders with one prior conviction for an impaired driving offence, the Crown Attorney may give notice they are proceeding on the basis of a second offence. In these cases, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 30 days and a two year driving prohibition.

For offenders with multiple prior convictions for impaired driving offences, the Crown Attorney may give notice they are proceeding on the basis of a subsequent offence. In these cases, there is a mandatory minimum jail sentence of 120 days custody and a three year driving prohibition.

In Manitoba, if you are convicted of an impaired driving offence, you also face suspensions under the Highway Traffic Act:

Drive Impaired or Drive Over .08

  • 1 year suspension for first conviction,

  • 5 year suspension for second conviction,

  • 10 year suspension for third conviction, and

  • lifetime suspension for four or more convictions within 10 years.

Refusal to Provide Breath or Blood Sample

  • 2 years suspension for first conviction,

  • 7 year suspension for second conviction,

  • 10 year suspension for third conviction, and

  • lifetime suspension for four or more convictions within 10 years.

In certain circumstances, upon conviction your vehicle is forfeited and becomes the property of the province.

All offender’s in Manitoba convicted of impaired driving are also subject to mandatory licence condition requiring them to use an ignition interlock device. This device requires the driver to give sample in order to start their vehicle. If alcohol is detected, the vehicle will not start. The driver must pay for cost of the ignition interlock device. There is a $250 administration charge, $150 installation charge, $105 monitoring charge (per month), and $50 de-installation charge.

If your driver’s licence is suspended, you will have to pay driver’s licence reinstatement fee of $50. You will be required to undergo an addictions assessment from the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba at a cost of $625. Your Driver Saftey Rating with Manitoba Public Insurance will go down, increasing the cost of your auto insurance and driver’s licence premiums.

Minimum Cost of an Impaired Driving Conviction

Minimum Fine

$1,000.00

Mandatory Interlock Program

$1,710.00

Mandatory Addictions Assessment

$625.00

Driver’s Licence Reinstatement Fee

$50.00

Total Minimum Cost

$3,385.00

This minimum cost does not take into account the increased cost to auto insurance. It does not include the fact you now have a criminal record that can affect employment and travel to the United States.

Impaired driving cases are very technical and complex. An impaired driving conviction can be very costly. It’s important to speak with a lawyer when charged to ensure your rights are protected. Please do not hesitate to contact me for assistance.

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be given by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion.