There is a large variety of driving offences for which an individual can be charged. The vast majority of these offences, such as speeding or failure to wear a seatbelt, are prosecuted under the Ontario Highway Traffic Act. However, more serious driving offences are prosecuted under the Criminal Code, and include: dangerous driving, flight from police, leaving the scene of an accident (when a person or vehicle is involved), and perhaps the most common, impaired driving and driving with excess blood alcohol. As these are considered crimes, conviction can result in a criminal record and potentially jail. As well, these offences invariably involve a loss of the charged individual’s license to drive for a specific period. In our society, with our reliance on driving for employment and general ability to function in life, the loss of license is often the most detrimental aspect to being convicted of these charges.
Fortunately, it can be possible in driving offences to negotiate the charge being ‘dropped’ to a lesser charge under the highway traffic act to avoid the loss of license and criminal record. As well, there are a variety of technical defences that exist to challenge these charges.