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Impaired Driving

Alcohol Education and Treatment Programs: Back On Track

Drinking drivers are required to take more responsibility for their actions. They have to get their drinking problem under control if they want their licence back.

Alcohol education and treatment programs, also referred to as remedial measures, are directed for individuals who:

  • Have been convicted of a driving and driving-related offence
  • Have received more than one roadside licence suspension for driving with a BAC from 0.05 to 0.08.

Information sent from the Ministry of Transportation will include the specific remedial measures requirements and how to complete them.

The remedial measures program in Ontario is Back on Track, delivered by the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. The three components of the remedial measures program are:

Assessment

  • Determines the extent of the drinking and driving problem and whether an education or treatment program is the most appropriate intervention.

Education or Treatment Program

The Education Program is eight hours in length and focuses on:

  • how alcohol and other drugs affect driving performance and safety
  • the legal and personal consequences of an impaired driving conviction
  • ways to avoid drinking and driving

The Treatment Program is 16 hours long and helps participants to:

  • learn about, and take responsibility for, their alcohol and drug use and its consequences
  • commit to ending the abuse of alcohol and drugs
  • plan to avoid relapses and make healthier choices
  • avoid drinking and driving

Follow-up Interview

Six months after the completion of the Education or Treatment Program, a follow-up interview takes place to assess success in meeting program goals and to reinforce strategies for avoiding drinking and driving developed during the program.

Medical Review

Individuals who provide breath samples from 0.05 to 0.08 (known as the "warn range") more than 3 times will be required to undergo a mandatory medical evaluation. They will be sent a Substance Abuse Assessment form for completion by their family physician or a physician specializing in addiction medicine. The purpose of the assessment is to determine if the individual is alcohol dependent and if further intervention is required. Depending on the information provided, MTO may keep the individual under suspension until they fulfill the medical requirements for licensing.

Completing the Program: Licence Reinstatement

There are different requirements for individuals convicted of impaired driving and those who are suspended for repeatedly driving in the "warn range".

Convicted impaired drivers should register immediately upon conviction as the program can take 11 months to complete.

Criminally convicted drivers must complete all three components of the Back On Track program before the licence suspension expires and satisfy all other requirements set by the courts in order to have their licence reinstated.

Drivers eligible for the Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program must complete the assessment component of the remedial measures program prior to early licence reinstatement. More information on the remedial measures requirements of the Conduct Review Program is available here.

Drivers fulfilling the mandatory alcohol education or treatment program requirements as a result of a suspension for registering a BAC from 0.05 to 0.08 will have 120 days from the start of their suspension period to complete the education course and 180 days to complete the treatment course.

Administrative Monetary Penalty

All drivers who receive an Administrative Driver Licence Suspension on or after June 15th, 2007, will be required to pay a $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty, prior to reinstatement. The penalty can be paid by cheque or money order (payable to the Minister of Finance) by mail or in person at any Driver and Vehicle Licence Issuing Office.

Registration and Costs

  • To register for Back On Track, please call 1-888-814-5831 or in Toronto (416) 595-6593
  • The cost for the Education or Treatment program is $178.
  • The cost of the complete Back on Track program is $578.

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What It Could Cost You

Drinking and driving is an expensive gamble.

Drivers who are suspended at roadside for registering a BAC from 0.05 to 0.08 or registering a BAC sample over 0.08 are subject to a $150 Administrative Monetary Penalty. In addition to the possibility of killing or seriously injuring themselves or someone else, convicted drinking drivers also risk serious financial costs:

Costs For A Convicted Drinking Driver
Category Amount
Legal and Court Costs
(estimated range)
$2,000 - $10,000
Criminal Code fine $1000
Alcohol Education and Treatment Program $578
Administrative Monetary Penalty $150
Increased Insurance
(estimate: $4,500 extra per year for 3 years)
$13,500
Ignition Interlock $1,300
TOTAL MINIMUM COST ¹
(plus applicable taxes on some items, actual costs may be higher)
$18,128
Note:
¹ Other potential costs include property damage, loss of employment income and uninsured medical costs.

Individuals who are convicted of driving while their licence is suspended for a Criminal Code conviction face high fines under the Highway Traffic Act:

  • $5,000 - $25,000 for a first conviction
  • $10,000 - $50,000 for subsequent convictions

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