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Pardon for Impaired Driving

Can I Get A Pardon For My Impaired Driving Charge?

The government and the Crown Attorney take impaired driving charges very seriously, and based on public interest and opinion, are often reluctant to drop these charges even for first time offenders. Being charged with impaired driving can carry significant consequences, and are one of the most common offences Ontarians face. Having an impaired driving charge on your record can affect your employment opportunities, travel, and increase your costs of insurance to drive.

Individuals who have been convicted of impaired driving can apply for a record suspension, which is what used to be referred to as a pardon. A record suspension in general means, not that the conviction is deleted, but rather that is set aside save for limited circumstances. The link below provides you with a comprehensive video tutorial and guide to help you apply for a record suspension.


Impaired driving and driving over 80 mg/100 ML will result in a criminal record. The good news is that you may be able to get a record suspension if you meet certain criteria.

For starters, you must have completed your sentence already, meaning you must have paid all fines, surcharges, restitution etc. as well as any probation or parole. Secondly you must wait a specified period of time. For summary convictions, you must wait 5 years, and for indictable offence convictions you must wait 10 years. More often than not, these types of offences are prosecuted summarily.

Lastly, you must have stayed out of trouble since the offence and must not have been convicted of any new offences. Additionally, any new charges will impede your ability to successfully receive a record suspension.

You may be able to complete this application process without the help of a lawyer. The application process is relatively inexpensive. With that said, a lawyer or agent may be able to assist you in the application process. The link provided above should get you off to the right start.

While it’s obviously better to hire an experienced personal injury lawyer to beat an impaired charge, it is still convenient and helpful to have a record suspension as a viable option if you are convicted of impaired driving.