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If an offender is found guilty of certain criminal offences, the judge may prevent them from driving for a period of time. This is called a driving prohibition. If the offence is a “drinking and driving” offence the judge must impose a driving prohibition.
Depending on the type of criminal offence and the offender’s record, a driving prohibition can last from one year, right up to a lifetime.
A driving prohibition means an offender cannot drive a motor vehicle anywhere in Canada (and sometimes in other countries too). This includes driving cars or trucks, but also includes things like operating a forklift or riding a motorized scooter. However, the judge may have the option to allow an offender to apply to the Ministry of Transportation to get permission to drive a motor vehicle that has a special device called an ignition interlock device. This device prevents the vehicle from starting if the offender has had any alcohol to drink.
A driving prohibition is a court order and it is separate from any suspension that the Ministry of Transportation may give an offender. Before deciding whether to plead guilty to a “drinking and driving” offence, an accused should be aware that the judge may have to impose a driving prohibition and that the Ministry of Transportation may also suspend their licence.