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A local criminal defence lawyer says it may be cheaper to hire a helicopter to take you home than it is to drink and drive.

Michael Dyck says drinking and driving is obviously very dangerous and can result in injury or death but it is also very costly. He notes right off the hop there is a $600 fine for having your vehicle impounded for 30 to 60 days.

"You need to do an addictions assessment at the AFM, that is $625 before you get your license back after the 90 days and then if you get to court and you plead guilty, if you are found guilty, we are looking at mandatory minimum fines of $1,000. There is a 30% surcharge, but really most people get fines around $1,500, all in they are paying $2,000."

Dyck says after you get your license back you will need to get a breathalyzer installed in your vehicle to make sure you don’t drink and drive again which costs $1,800. He notes you will also take 10 demerits from MPI which will make your license more expensive. He adds a DUI is permanent.

"As soon as you plead guilty or if you are found guilty, it is on your criminal record for life, it is a tattoo. You can apply for a record suspension but you have to wait at least six years. You have to wait for your driving prohibition from the judge to end and another five years before you can even apply to get rid of that. That is going to be at least $650 dollars."

Dyck says many people also get help from a lawyer when they go to court and that will come with additional fees as well. He says the costs alone should be deterring people from drinking and driving.

Meanwhile, through week three of the RCMP Holiday Checkstop Program, there were 1,960 vehicles checked across the province during 42 checkstops. As a result of checkstops and regular patrol, 22 people were charged with a Criminal Code Impaired Driving offense, there were 10 alcohol-related tiered administrative roadside suspensions, 588 traffic-related Highway Traffic Act charges laid along with 142 warnings, 9 Liquor & Gaming Control Act offenses and 6 other Criminal Code Driving offenses. The highest blood/alcohol reading reported was .230, almost three times the legal limit.

There was one traffic-related fatality on Friday where two vehicles collided on Highway 9, approximately 30km north of Selkirk.

 

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