Driving a vehicle is considered a privilege and there are many reasons why a driver’s licence can be taken away. Your licence can be suspended if you are guilty of certain negligent or criminal actions, including those defined by the laws of Manitoba. Possible reasons for a driver’s licence suspension include certain Criminal Code of Canada offences, using your licence illegally, impaired driving, and driving while your licence is suspended.
Criminal Code of Canada Offences There are many Criminal Code offences, including dangerous driving, criminal negligence, flight from police, auto arson, auto vandalism, taking a vehicle without the owner’s consent, auto theft, possession of property obtained by crime, and possession, selling or purchasing master keys. A conviction for any these offences may result in an administrative driver’s licence suspension or eligibility to obtain a licence ranging from one year to life, depending on the any extenuating circumstances such as causing serious danger or harm to the general public. An underage driver committing offence under the Criminal Code will lose driving privileges imposed when the current legal driving age of sixteen has been reached. Illegal Use of You Driver’s Licence If you misuse your driver’s licence, then you may be fined and your driver’s licence may be suspended. For example, you cannot lend or allow someone else to use your driver’s licence. You cannot have more than one valid licence and it is illegal to misrepresent yourself or provide false identification when applying for a driver’s licence. Further, if you alter any of your licence, vehicle registration, insurance liability card or certificate, your licence may be suspended. Impaired Driving Novice drivers must have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of less than 0.05. Any novice drivers with a BAC over 0.05 will receive an immediate 24-hour roadside suspension, and be required to attend a show cause hearing with the Driver Improvement and Control Program to determine further penalties. For all other drivers, tiered administrative licence suspensions apply for impaired driving. Drivers operating a motor vehicle with a BAC of between 0.05 and 0.08 or who fail a physical coordination test or drug recognition evaluation are subject to an immediate tiered administrative licence suspension. These suspensions range from 72 hours to 60 days, depending on how many previous suspensions have been issued to the driver within a 10-year period. Receiving a tiered administrative licence suspension moves a driver down the driver safety rating scales five levels and further driver’s licence suspension could be considered. For all drivers, an immediate three-month administrative licence suspension can apply in a number of circumstances. These circumstances include driving with a BAC over 0.08, refusing to provide a breath or blood sample to police, refusing to perform a physical coordination test or drug recognition evaluation, or refusing to follow a police officer’s instructions regarding either test. Defending an impaired driving charge on your own is never a good idea and it can produce unfavourable results Driving While Suspended If you are arrested while driving under suspension, you may face imprisonment for up to five years and/or fines of up to $2,000. Depending on the circumstances you could be subject to a non-appealable licence prohibition under the Criminal Code, which means that you cannot obtain a work licence. You could also be faced with a lifetime driver’s licence suspension under the Highway Traffic Act. If are charged for driving under suspension and you were not aware or you were not properly notified that your licence has been suspended, you should seek legal advice immediately. Contact Saheel Zaman Law Corporation, Criminal Lawyers in Winnipeg If you have been charged with a criminal offence, our Winnipeg criminal lawyers can assist you. We will promptly answer any questions you may have about the charges and potential termination or restriction of your driving privileges. Call us at 204-943-9922.