The short answer is yes, you can, and the consequences can be serious. If you are pulled over by police for any reason and are found to be driving on a disqualified or suspended licence, you’re in trouble.
You won’t be driving home, because you do not have the legal right to drive. You could find yourself facing as much as six months in jail, as well as a hefty fine.
While the penalties are essentially the same, a suspended and a disqualified licence technically differ. A licence suspension is for a set period of time, after which the driver ‘s licence is reinstated. Disqualification also is for a set period of time, but under licence disqualification, the driver surrenders the licence and must reapply for a new licence after the disqualification period. Being issued a new licence may involve the completion of certain requirements, which could include completing a driver education course. The process is not considered automatic, and disqualification terms can be much longer than suspensions, including lifetime disqualification. That means you won’t be permitted to drive—for life.
Alberta Takes Driving on a Disqualified Licence Seriously
In Alberta, as in Canada’s other provinces, you can’t drive a motor vehicle if you don’t have a licence, if your licence is suspended, or if your licence is disqualified. Law enforcement agencies across Alberta work together in a province-wide program to crack down on those who are driving on a suspended or disqualified licence. If your licence is suspended in any province in Canada, your licence is deemed suspended in Alberta, as well.
The penalties for violations are steep. Jail terms for driving with a disqualified or suspended licence are quite common. You can be sentenced to imprisonment for 14 days minimum and up to 6 months for the first offence. You also face significant fines up to $2,000. On top of that, your licence can be suspended for an additional six months – on top of the length of the existing suspension – when the adjudication of driving on a suspended or disqualified licence enters. Last, the vehicle you were driving, regardless of who owns it, will be impounded for 30 days. You also will pay the towing charges and impoundment fees; or, if you don’t own the vehicle, the registered owner will have to pay those fees to recover the vehicle.
If You Have Been Charged With Driving on a Disqualified Licence in the Calgary Area, Contact the Lawyers of Bourdon Defence
Being charged with driving on a disqualified licence is no small matter. If you are facing such charges in Calgary or surrounding Alberta, you need to take the charges seriously and consult with a lawyer. It could be the difference between going to jail or not. The lawyers of Bourdon Defence can assist you and help you navigate through the process of a suspended or disqualified licence. You can reach us at (403) 474-4143, or your can contact us directly through our website.