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Drunk Driving and Canadian Children's Aid Society (CAS) and Custody Implications

A DUI can result in numerous consequences. One of the less commonly noted ones is that it may bring your life under the scrutiny of your local Children's Aid Society.

If you are caught drinking and driving with your children in the car, you will be considered at a high risk to your children’s well being. This means a social worker may become involved in your life. Children’s Aid social workers frequently take custody of children whose parents drink and drive.

CAS can get involved even if the kids are not in the car

Sometimes even getting caught with a DUI without the kids in the car will lead to CAS involvement. CAS may investigate your matter and allege that even though you weren’t caught drinking and driving with the kids in the car that you have done so in the past.

If a social worker is assigned to your case they will investigate by:

  1. Interviewing you
  2. Interviewing your children and family members
  3. Investigating your life schedule, your children’s schedule, and typical habits
  4. Searching your house and vehicle for evidence of alcohol abuse – including empty bottles, bank and credit card statements for evidence of alcohol purchases, etc.

A social worker will look through cupboards for bottles, surprise your kids at school for a questioning session, show up at the door at weird hours for a visit, and use other means to search for evidence that puts the well being of the children into question. Often times, a DUI is the first step in this process, even if the kids are not in the car at the time of the arrest.

Fighting CAS in court is a difficult task in alcohol related cases. Courts see alcohol abuse as something that is extremely difficult to control and a problem that can flare up at any time. Furthermore, many individuals on the advice of treatment programs readily admit to the world they are an “alcoholic” or have a problem with alcohol. Once this admission is made, they are irreversibly labelled an alcoholic and will always be looked upon with suspicion by the police and CAS. 

Custody and Access (Family Law) Implications

If you are charged with DUI, be aware that this will likely be used against you if you ever have to dispute custody or access to your children in family court. Allegations of alcohol abuse are common in custody disputes, but a DUI charge can be viewed by the court of evidence that allegation is true and that you represent a significant risk to your children. When the court applies the “best interest” test of who the children will be better off with, having a DUI charge can severely hurt you.

Drinking and driving with child in the car is also an aggravating factor for sentencing under the Criminal Code

It should be noted that the Criminal Code also specifies the presence of children in the car at the time of impaired driving to be a significant aggravating factor. The Judge is required to consider the risk of harm to the children as an aggravating factor when imposing a sentence. Even for a first time offender this could mean the difference between a fine and a jail sentence.

Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with impaired driving offences throughout Ontario.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on impaired driving related charges protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record.

    call us: 647-228-5969


  call us: 647-228-5969


Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel

* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with U.S. travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending an impaired driving related case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.


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  Law and Consequences

  We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel