POLICE ASSOCIATION OF NOVA SCOTIA 101 Insurance premiums • A conviction for an impaired driving offence will result in significant increases in the offender’s insurance premiums. • Depending on the jurisdiction, the offender may no longer be able to obtain insurance in the “regular” market and may have to seek coverage from a “highrisk” insurer. In this case, the offender’s insurance premiums may increase three or fourfold. The offence of driving without insurance • It is an offence to drive without insurance, and the minimum set fine ranges from a low of $300 in British Columbia to a high of $5,000 in Ontario. • Driving without insurance may also result in a licence suspension in almost half of the provinces and territories, and vehicle impoundment in Ontario and the Yukon. The Financial Costs of an Impaired Driving Conviction • The direct financial costs of an impaired driving conviction are difficult to estimate and may vary significantly from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. Nevertheless, the following table, prepared by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation,3 illustrates that such costs are likely to be very substantial. • While the insurance costs in most other jurisdictions are likely to be significantly lower than those in Ontario, the table does not include a number of expenses that may result from a conviction, such as any loss of earnings due to losing one’s licence and the cost of alternative transportation. • Moreover, the table does not include the costs that may arise if the impaired driver caused a crash. These additional costs may include: legal fees in defending a civil suit; the offender’s own collision damages, medical expenses and lost earnings; and the offender’s liability for third-party claims. ■ 3 Ontario, Ministry of Transportation, Break the Law, Pay the Price (Ontario: Ministry of Transportation, 2005). Online: Ministry of Transportation <>. Item Cost Legal Costs: (estimated at $2,000 to $10,000) Criminal Code fine for a first conviction Remedial program Licence reinstatement fee Increased insurance: ($4,500 per year for 3 years) Ignition Interlock $2,000 $600 $475 $150 $13,500 $1,300 Total Estimated Minimum Cost $18,025 Estimated Costs of an Impaired Driving Conviction