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How Long Does a DUI Stay on Your Driving Record in Canada

Driving under the influence (DUI) is a serious offense in Canada. If convicted, it can have long-lasting impacts on an individual’s life, from employment prospects to insurance premiums. But one of the most frequent questions that arise post-conviction is, how long does a DUI stay on your driving record in Canada? Let’s unpack this vital question and understand its implications.

DUI Conviction: A Brief Overview

In Canada, a DUI, also known as an impaired driving charge, encompasses operating a vehicle while one’s ability to do so is affected by alcohol or drugs. This can result in hefty fines, imprisonment, or even a combination of the two, depending on the severity and frequency of the offense.

Duration of DUI on Driving Record

In Canada, a DUI remains on your driving record for at least 3 years from the date of your conviction. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. In reality, the effects of a DUI conviction can linger much longer.

For insurance purposes, most companies will view a DUI as a significant factor for up to 6 years after the conviction. This means that for these six years, you might find your premiums substantially higher than those without a DUI.

Furthermore, the DUI will remain on your criminal record indefinitely unless you obtain a record suspension. Previously referred to as a “pardon,” a record suspension allows individuals who have made positive life changes to have their criminal record set aside.

Impacts on Travel & Employment

Having a DUI on your record can also impact your ability to travel, particularly to the United States if you have more than one conviction. Moreover, a DUI on your record can also be a red flag for potential employers, especially if driving is an essential aspect of the job.

Steps to Take After a DUI Conviction

  1. Understand Your Conviction: Make sure you’re well-informed about the terms of your conviction and any conditions or programs you must complete.
  2. Insurance Communication: Reach out to your insurance provider to discuss your premiums and understand how your DUI impacts your policy.
  3. Seek a Record Suspension: If eligible, consider applying for a record suspension to have your DUI set aside from your criminal record. This can be especially beneficial for employment and travel purposes.
  4. Stay Informed: Laws and policies can change. Regularly check for any updates regarding DUI laws in Canada to ensure you’re always informed.


In conclusion, while a DUI might remain on your driving record for a specific duration, its repercussions extend far beyond just your ability to drive. Whether it’s inflated insurance premiums, travel restrictions, or employment challenges, the shadow of a DUI can loom long. If you or someone you know is facing DUI charges or grappling with the aftermath of a conviction, seeking expert legal counsel is paramount.

Facing a DUI Charge or its Aftermath?

A DUI charge or conviction can be daunting, but you don’t have to navigate it alone. At Karapancev Law, our expert DUI lawyer in Toronto offers understanding, expertise, and a commitment to assisting our clients through such challenging times. Get in touch with us for guidance tailored to your unique situation.

Alexander Karapancev

Alexander Karapancev

Alexander Karapancev is a Toronto criminal lawyer practicing throughout the province of Ontario. He regularly serves as lead trial counsel on serious and complex criminal cases. He is the founder of Karapancev Law, a law firm representing clients facing criminal charges, regulatory offences, and professional discipline proceedings.

Mr. Karapancev has acted as counsel in hundreds of cases throughout the province of Ontario, regularly representing clients at trials, applications, bail hearings and preliminary inquiries. He is regularly retained to defend individuals charged with serious allegations of fraud, drug trafficking, DUI offences, domestic assault, and sexual assault. Prior to founding his law firm, Mr. Karapancev practiced criminal defence at a boutique Toronto law firm and also served as a per diem Crown prosecutor.

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