If a person is subject to a driving prohibition or suspension under the Motor Vehicle Act, he or she commits an offence by driving while prohibited or suspended. For example, if a driver is serving a 90 day suspension under an “Immediate Roadside Prohibition” and drives during the suspension, he or she commits an offence under Section 98 of the Motor Vehicle Act. The minimum sentence for an offence under Section 98 of the Motor Vehicle Act is a $500 fine and 1 year driving suspension.
The same offence can be prosecuted under the Criminal Code as driving while disqualified contrary to Section 259(4) of the Criminal Code. The term “disqualification” includes disqualification from driving a motor vehicle under the law of a province such as the Motor Vehicle Act as well as disqualification from driving imposed under the Criminal Code in connection to a criminal driving offence.
The punishment for driving while disqualified is a maximum sentence of 6 months in jail if prosecuted summarily and 5 years in jail if prosecuted by indictment. Depending on the reason for the disqualification, a further driving prohibition may be ordered.