Law

Introduction

Impaired driving, which means driving while your ability is affected by alcohol or drugs, is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada. If convicted, you can lose your licence, be fined, or spend time in jail. Your vehicle does not even have to be moving; you can be charged if you are impaired behind the wheel, even if you have not started to drive.

Drinking & Driving

Drinking and driving is a deadly combination. One drink can reduce your ability to concentrate and react to things that happen suddenly while you are driving. The more alcohol in your blood, the more difficulty you have judging distances and reacting to sudden hazards on the road. To make matters even worse, your vision may become blurred.

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The Consequences

Ontario leads the way in combating drinking and driving through some of the toughest laws and programs in North America.

Roadside Licence Suspension

Fully-licensed drivers will face immediate roadside licence suspension for:

refusing a breath test
registering a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.05 or more (this means there is 50 milligrams of alcohol in every 100 millilitres of blood)

As of August 1, 2010, if you are a fully licensed driver who is 21 and under or a novice driver and are caught with any alcohol in your blood, you will receive an immediate 24-hour roadside driver licence suspension and, if convicted, you will face a fine of $60-$500 and a 30-day licence suspension.

If Convicted.

If you drive impaired, and your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is more than 0.08, or you fail or refuse to comply with alcohol or drug testing, you can be convicted under the Criminal Code. Individuals convicted for impaired driving offences face penalties under Canada’s Criminal Code and Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act. Upon conviction, consequences include an additional suspension period, alcohol education and treatment programs,Ignition Interlock installation and fines.

* All information on this page was taken verbatim from the Ontario Ministry of Transportation website: http://mto.gov.on.ca/