Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock

Frequently asked questions

Q1. If I already have a trial date set, how do I find out whether the Crown Attorney will agree to the minimum suspension period and minimum absolute prohibition period before eligibility?

Contact the Crown Attorney's office or attend at the courthouse to make an appointment to speak to a Crown Attorney.

If you have counsel, your counsel can contact the Crown Attorney. If you don't have counsel, duty counsel are available in every courthouse to advise you.


Q2. If I already have a trial date set, how do I bring my case forward, and what days are available?

Courts Administration staff at your courthouse will advise you of the procedure for bringing a case forward and the days available. You may need the consent of the Crown Attorney to do so.

You or your lawyer may receive a letter from the Crown Attorney's office in the jurisdiction where you are charged advising that you may be eligible for the program and explaining how to start the process to bring the case forward from the trial date.


Q3. Once I decide to plead guilty, how many court appearances will be required until I am able to participate in the program?

Assuming you are familiar with the charges against you and you are satisfied of your eligibility for the program, you can complete your matter in court in as little as one court appearance. You can enter your guilty plea and be convicted, sentenced and prohibited from driving in one court appearance.

If you have not retained counsel, duty counsel are available in every courthouse to advise you of your options.

If you have more questions about court processes in relation to the ignition interlock program, please contact your local Crown Attorney's Office or the Courts Administration Office at your local courthouse. You can find general information about court processes, as well as courthouse addresses and phone numbers, in the Justice Ontario section of the Ministry of the Attorney General website.


Q4. If I do not yet have a trial date, how long do I have to decide whether I want to plead guilty?

If you want to get into Stream A, you have to plead guilty and be sentenced and convicted within 90 days of the offence date.

If you have not retained counsel, duty counsel are available in every courthouse to advise you of your options.


Q5. Can I extend the timeframe?

No.


Q6. If the judge does not increase the minimum period before which I am eligible, do I have to contact MTO or do they contact me?

You do not have to contact MTO. Once the conviction and sentence are registered, the court order data will be transmitted electronically to MTO.

Drivers who are eligible for the Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program will receive an individualized information package from MTO with information on how to meet the requirements for entry into the program in one of two streams.

The package will include application instructions and identify:

  • the mandatory periods of suspension and interlock installation
  • timelines that must be met to enter the program

Q7. How do I get the assessment, where do I have to go, what is involved and how much does it cost?

There are three components to the remedial measures program, also known as Back on Track, run by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health:

  • assessment
  • education or treatment program
  • follow-up interview

You must complete the assessment component during the period of your minimum absolute prohibition for entry into Stream "A". The assessment component determines the extent of the drinking and driving problem and whether an education or treatment program is the most appropriate intervention.

Contact information will be included in the package sent to you by MTO. The cost of the entire remedial measures program for convicted impaired drivers is $634. Participants must pay this fee to register for the program. The cost is not broken down by program component (assessment, alcohol education or treatment, follow-up).

All three components of the remedial measures program must be completed before you can exit the new interlock program with full licence reinstatement.

For more information, visit the Back on Track Program website. You can register for the program online.


Q8. How long does it take to schedule an assessment?

The local provider will provide an assessment within 30 calendar days of the participant's request to the local provider.

It is recommended that drivers register for the remedial measures program and request the assessment immediately after bein notified of their eligibility to make sure they can complete this requirement within the timeframe required for entry into Stream "A" (i.e. the term of their minimum absolute prohibition period).


Q9. How does MTO become aware of the results of my assessment? Do I have to do anything?

CAMH will notify MTO electronically of the results of your assessment.


Q10. Do I have to do anything other than the assessment before I can install a device in my car?

You must also establish proof of a lease agreement for an approved ignition interlock device The information package from MTO will provide you with contact information for the interlock service provider.

You must also pay all outstanding fees, and all other active suspensions must have expired.


Q11. What is involved in entering into a lease agreement with the interlock provider? Is there any money to be paid at this point?

The information package from MTO will provide you with contact information for the approved interlock service provider

The offender must contact one of Ontario's approved ignition interlock service providers to enrol prior to the expiry of the minimum absolute prohibition period to enter the program in Stream "A".

The service provider will notify MTO electronically when you have successfully enrolled.


Q12. Once I am approved, how do I get the device? Is there any charge?

Drivers subject to an ignition interlock condition are responsible for all installation and maintenance costs for the device.

The service providers will provide related information, including fees, when a driver registers for the program. For installation information and costs, please call one of Ontario's approved ignition interlock service providers.


Q13. How long does the installation take?

Under general circumstances, the timeframe for the installation of the interlock device is 2-3 hours. For specialized vehicles commercial vehicles, exotic vehicles, etc.) it could take longer.


Q14. Once approved, can I drive the car to the service provider for the purpose of having the device installed or does someone else have to drive the car there?

You will need to get someone else to drive the car to the service centre to have the device installed. Your licence will be re-instated with an ignition interlock licence condition, so you cannot drive legally without an approved device installed in the vehicle you're driving.


Q15. What happens if I am unable to complete the assessment and provide proof of interlock lease agreement within the period of my absolute prohibition? Can I get an extension?

You cannot get an extension. Individual circumstances will not be taken into account in this regard.

If a driver eligible for Stream "A" does not complete the assessment and sign-up for interlock prior to the expiry of the minimum absolute prohibition period, the driver will no longer be eligible for Stream "A" but will remain eligible to enter the program in stream "B".


Q16. Can the device be installed on a motorcycle or a snowmobile?

No.


Q17. Can MTO revoke my ability to use the interlock device? If so, what would that involve?

MTO can revoke your ability to drive with an interlock device if you commit any of the following violations:

  • failure to install an approved ignition interlock device within 30 days of licence reinstatement
  • tampering with the device or de-installation without authorization
  • driving a vehicle that is not equipped with an approved ignition interlock device
  • missed appointment with the approved ignition interlock service provider
  • suspension for another CCC driving offence
  • roadside suspension for BAC > 0.0
  • 90 day administrative driver's licence suspension for BAC > 0.08 and failure/refusal to provide a breath or blood sample

Violations during the ignition interlock installation period will result in removal from the program and re-suspension. Offenders become subject to current HTA sanctions but are given credit for the period of suspension they have already served.


Q18. Can my ability to use the interlock device be revoked if I violate my participant agreement with my ignition interlock service provider?

Penalties may arise from violating the terms and conditions of a participant agreement with your ignition interlock service provider.  For further information regarding penalties and terms and conditions, please contact your ignition interlock service provider.


Q19. Can I switch from one service provider to another?  If so, what would that involve?

Drivers in the Program may switch from one service provider to another if they choose to do so.  If a driver chooses to switch they must follow the steps listed below:

  • Enrol with the new service provider, THEN;
  • Uninstall from their current service provider, THEN;
  • Install with the new service provider within 30 days from the uninstall date

Failure to comply with these steps may result in removal from the program and re-suspension. 

Please note that switching service providers may impact the terms and conditions of your participant agreement with your current service provider.  Drivers are advised to contact their service provider for further information and details.

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