In rare circumstances, even if you are found guilty of a DUI offence (such as Impaired Driving or Over 80 or Care or Control), it is possible to avoid a criminal record.
The general rule is that if you are found guilty of a DUI, you will receive a criminal record and a mandatory sentence (see What is the penalty if I plead guilty or am found guilty of a DUI? Section)
The exception to this general rule is if you are eligible for a “curative discharge.” A curative discharge is available where an offender has been convicted of, or pled guilty to, an impaired driving offence, but can demonstrate that they suffer from a substance abuse problem and are in need of curative treatment. The offender must also meet the following conditions in order to satisfy the Court that it is not contrary to the public interest to grant a curative discharge:
- Good faith attempts to overcome addiction,
- Motivation to achieve recovery,
- Reasonable likelihood of being able to overcome addiction.
In order to demonstrate that you are in need of curative treatment and that it is not contrary to the public interest to grant a curative discharge, an expert report is necessary. These reports are typically produced by a psychologist or psychiatrist.
If you receive a curative discharge you will receive a period of probation that will include substance abuse treatment. When the period of probation has been completed, your impaired driving conviction will be “discharged” from your record. You will not receive the $1,000 fine, however, your license will be suspended for a minimum of one year.
It is important to note that you cannot receive a curative discharge for a conviction for refusal to provide a sample.