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What is a curative discharge?

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Searidge Foundation is a not-for-profit drug and alcohol rehab located in Nova Scotia. In addition to providing personalized treatment, we try to create articles and resources that are useful to those suffering directly and indirectly from addiction and substance abuse.

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Searidge Foundation is devoted to the treatment and care of those who suffer from alcoholism or alcohol addiction. While driving under the influence is not easily forgivable, especially when death or bodily harm was involved, simply punishing individuals for their horrible lapse in judgment is insufficient. Alcoholism, or alcohol addiction, is developed as a result of a myriad of life experiences, disappointments, psychological disorders, and possible abuses. Simply put, it is complex and difficult to treat. That being said, it is treatable. For many situations, jail time or harsh punishments may not be the answer it was once thought to be, especially when it comes to someone who is indeed suffering from an addiction. A Curative Discharge allows for a second chance and the possibility of real change for the better.


A curative discharge can lead to a better path of recovery at alcohol rehab.

What is a Curative Discharge, and how can Searidge help those who have been charged with driving under the influence? For those of you legal savvy folk, the legal reference for a Curative Discharge looks something like this:


Conditional discharge

(5) Notwithstanding subsection 730(1), a court may, instead of convicting a person of an offence committed under section 253, after hearing medical or other evidence, if it considers that the person is in need of curative treatment in relation to his consumption of alcohol or drugs and that it would not be contrary to the public interest, by order direct that the person be discharged under section 730 on the conditions prescribed in a probation order, including a condition respecting the person’s attendance for curative treatment in relation to that consumption of alcohol or drugs.

s. 255; R.S., 1985, c. 27 (1st Supp.), s. 36; R.S., 1985, c. 1 (4th Supp.), s. 18(F); 1995, c. 22, s. 18; 1999, c. 32, s. 3(Preamble); 2000, c. 25, s. 2; 2008, c. 6, s. 21, c. 18, ss. 7, 45.2.”

A Curative Discharge Simply Explained

We can think of a Curative Discharge as the court giving someone charged with a DUI a “second chance” for the rest of us. Should the court deem it appropriate, an individual may be obligated to seek treatment for the root cause of what lead them to break the law and drive drunk, in most cases it would be because they are diagnosed with alcoholism. Does this mean they are “getting away with it”? Opinions will vary, but at Searidge we don’t want to weigh in on that debate, but we can say that if there is a chance an alcoholic can recover and go on to repay their debt to society by being a model citizen, why not take it?

a dui doesn't have to be the end of your life. rehab can help you and searidge can assist in getting you a curative discharge

There are important factors to keep in mind regarding Curative Discharge. A few of them being the following:

  • The court cannot guarantee you a Curative Discharge, and the ability to get one depends heavily on your circumstances and those of your charges
  • The Crown may attempt to block your application for a Curative Discharge as they will argue it is not in the public’s interest
  • Both first-time offenders and those with multiple impaired driving offences may apply, and in many cases, those with more than one offence have an easier time attaining a Curative Discharge as there is a clear need for treatment
  • A Curative Discharge cannot be granted to someone who did not take a Breathalyzer test
  • Attaining a Curative Discharge is not a simple matter, and often requires the skills of an experienced defence attorney who knows how to navigate the legal territory and argue the case effectively in court

While there are hurdles in applying for, and getting, a Curative Discharge, Searidge can play its part and follow all orders and directives of the court. In fact, we work with several attorneys who are experienced in impaired driving cases and can help you succeed in treatment and the courtroom. Alcoholics often face a rock bottom moment that spurs them towards making a positive change, and perhaps you, or someone you know, has been charged with a DUI and considers this their moment. Regardless of the precise circumstances that lead you to us, we can help. Our mission is to tailor a treatment plan for you and assist with your legal matters with the help of the excellent attorneys we recommend. Don’t let your life be consumed by an impaired driving charge, because whether you believe in them or not, second chances are real. Let Searidge Foundation work with you towards healing, sobriety, and a new beginning.

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