An ignition interlock device is an in-vehicle breath screening device. It prevents a vehicle from starting if it detects a blood alcohol concentration over a pre-set limit of 20 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (.02).
If you are convicted of an impaired driving offence under the Criminal Code of Canada, after serving a licence suspension, completing a mandatory remedial measures program, and meeting all licensing conditions, you will be eligible to have your driver’s licence. At that time, an ignition interlock condition is placed on your Ontario driver’s licence, which means that you must install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle.
If you choose not to install a device, you must not drive until the condition is removed from your licence. Drivers caught without a required ignition interlock device will have their cars impounded for 7 days.
You must apply to the Ministry of Transportation to have the condition removed from your licence. If you have completed the minimum period (one year or three years) without any program violations (tampering/driving without/missed appointment with service provider), the ignition interlock condition will be removed. If you do not apply for removal of the licence condition, it will remain on your licence indefinitely.
If it is your first conviction, you may be eligible to participate in the Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program. This Program will allow eligible drivers to reduce their licence suspension in return for meeting specific requirements, such as the mandatory installation of an approved ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
If your driver's licence has been suspended for driving in the warn range of .05 to .08 for a third or subsequent time in a five-year period, you will also have an ignition interlock licence condition placed on your licence for 6 months. However, you do not need to apply to the Ministry of Transportation to have the condition removed from your licence. If you have completed the minimum 6-month period without any program violations (tampering/ driving without/missed appointment with service provider), the ignition interlock condition will be removed.
As a vehicle owner, you must not allow a person with an ignition interlock condition to drive your vehicle or you could be convicted of an offence under the Highway Traffic Act. You can find out if a driver has an ignition interlock condition on his or her licence by accessing MTO’s website at mto.gov.on.ca or by calling 1-900-565-6555. There is a fee for each licence check.