Driving Really Is a Privilege
AUG 2011-Driving is a privilege. Most teenagers have heard this sentence from their parents, but it's an argument that's actually written right into the law. A driver's licence is something that can be taken away just as easily as it can be given, and it's not just bad driving that can earn a suspension. In some cases, suspensions are mandatory while in others, the Judge can choose another punishment. Some of the more common reasons for suspension are:
1. You are convicted of a provincial driving offence or criminal code driving offence that calls for suspension
2. You have unpaid fines with the Ministry of Transportation
* Your licence can be suspended until you pay up and it doesn't matter how much (or how little) the fine was
3. You have too many points on your licence
* At 9-14 points, you may get an interview with a Ministry official. If you're a novice driver, it can happen once you have 6-8 points. In the interview, you have to convince the official that your licence shouldn't be suspended. If you don't show up for the interview, or you can't convince the official, your licence can be suspended.
* If you get 15 points (9 points as a novice driver), you'll get an automatic suspension.
4. You fail a roadside screening test because your blood alcohol level is too high
5. You are a novice driver and your blood alcohol level is over zero
6. You have a default in child support payments
* This is one of the lesser known reasons for suspension. If you are ordered to pay support and you stop making payments, your licence can be suspended until you pay off what you owe.
7. You have a judgment against you from a court proceeding that you have not paid
* This is another suspension type that many people don't know about. Basically if someone sues you and wins, your licence can be suspended if you don't pay the judgment. You might argue that a driver's licence has nothing to do with a debt owed to another person, but the law still says that a licence suspension is one option if you don't pay.
This list does not come close to covering all of the possible reasons for suspension. In all cases, to get your licence back, you will have to deal with whatever caused the suspension and you will have to pay a $150 reinstatement fee. Your licence cannot be given back until you pay this fee, and it can actually be cancelled if you do not pay the fee on time. It's important to know your responsibilities so that you don't end up without your licence.