As a general rule, if you plead guilty to an offence under the Criminal Code, you will receive a criminal record.
The exception to the rule is if you are granted a “discharge” at sentencing. These are granted where it can be demonstrated that it is not contrary to the public interest for you to not receive a criminal record for the conviction. Frequently discharges are conditional, meaning a conviction will be entered on your criminal record, but it will be discharged three years after you have completed a period of probation.
If you plead guilty to an impaired driving offence, you will only be eligible for a discharge if you can demonstrate that you have a substance abuse problem that will be addressed through treatment as a condition of the discharge.
If you are interested in pleading guilty and making an application for a discharge, or evaluating the possibility of a resolution without a criminal record, it is recommended that you seek the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer.