“Stunt driving” is one of the most serious offences with which an Ontario driver can be charged. The penalties for a conviction of stunt driving in Ontario are the most severe in Canada after they were increased in 2007.
Penalties for stunt driving in Ontario
There are several types of penalties for a conviction of stunt driving prescribed by legislation. First, when you are pulled over and before you are even convicted, the police can immediately suspend your driver’s license and impound your car for seven days. Then, if you are convicted, the penalties you face are:
- six demerit points
- a fine between $2,000.00 and $10,000.00
- up to a two year suspension of your driver’s license
- a record of the offence that stays with you for three years
- potentially, six months of jail time
And then, of course, are the insurance company penalties. With a charge of stunt driving on your record and six demerit points, most companies will drop you, and you’ll find it difficult to find insurance. If you do, it won’t be affordable – you’ll be paying thousands of dollars per year in extra insurance premiums.
What Stunt Driving Is
“Stunt driving” is a broad charge, and it includes a number of situations. Some of them mostly relate to relatively rare situations where a driver is driving in a pattern consistent with what we commonly believe to be driving stunts or racing contests:
- Driving with the intention to lift the car’s tires off the ground
- Driving with the intention of having the car skid on a turn
- Driving with the intention of having the car spin in a circle (doing doughnuts, essentially, even if it’s just in the parking lot)
- Where two vehicles drive side by side, with one of them remaining in the lane for oncoming traffic for a longer time than is reasonably required to pass
- Driving with a person in the trunk of the car
- Driving the car while not sitting in the driver’s seat
Other incidents which the law considers as “stunt driving” are more common on the roads, and do not necessarily fit into what we would usually associate with stunts:
- driving a car with the intention of preventing another vehicle from passing you
- stopping or slowing the car to interfere with the movement of another vehicle, for example, cutting a car off or otherwise causing another car to unnecessarily stop or slow down
- turning left immediately before or after the signal turns green for oncoming traffic
- exceeding the speed limit by 50 km/hr or more
Fighting stunt driving tickets
Fighting stunt driving tickets is very important, because the penalties for a conviction of stunt driving are extensive. Generally, there are two major ways a stunt driving ticket can be fought – either a settlement with the prosecution, whereby the driver pleads guilty to a lesser charge and receives a reduced penalty, or a full scale trial, where the driver enters a plea of not guilty and argues his or her position before the judge.
No matter which option is pursued, it is imperative to have a solid understanding of the case and a strong position, to be successful at trial or in pursuing a settlement.
Because stunt driving encompasses such a wide range of situations and is a highly technical matter, each case should be carefully and individually weighed to determine the best course of action. Please feel free to contact us for a free assessment of your case. Given the seriousness of the charge, we do strongly suggest retaining a paralegal for your stunt driving ticket.