‘A lot of people facing potential deportation’ under upcoming changes to DUI penalties: immigration lawyer


Mathew Joseph tries to explain Canada’s new laws on impaired driving to a group of Winnipeg teenagers, most of whom came to Canada as refugees. He’s a permanent resident, so the amendments to Canada’s Criminal Code could affect him, too. (Karen Pauls/CBC News)

On Dec. 18, amendments to the Criminal Code come into effect that will increase the maximum sentence for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol to 10 years from five.

The changes are part of Bill C-46, which was intended to update impaired driving rules in light of legalized recreational cannabis use.

But the increased penalties also mean convictions for impaired driving will fall under the category of “serious criminality” for immigration determination purposes.

That change, in turn, triggers a section of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Protection Act dealing with admissibility to Canada.

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