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.
Any drug that changes your mood, or the way you see and feel, will affect the way you drive. This is not only true for illegal drugs, but also for some prescription and over-the-counter drugs that may impair your driving ability. Drug impaired driving carries the same criminal charges and provincial sanctions as alcohol impaired 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 worse, your vision may be blurred.
Consequences for impaired driving are serious and can result in a criminal offence under the Criminal Code of Canada:
Fully-licenced drivers will face immediate roadside licence suspension for:
Refusing a drug or alcohol test,
Registering a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 or more,
If a drug recognition evaluator determines impairment.
Drivers who register a blood alcohol concentration from 0.05 to 0.08 from (known as the “warn range”) lose their licence at roadside for 3, 7 or 30 days. Consequences also get tougher for repeat occurrences.
Ontario has a zero tolerance approach to both alcohol and drugs for all young and novice drivers. This means that young drivers (21 and under) and novice drivers of any age in the Graduated Licensing System (GLS) must not have any presence of alcohol or drugs when behind the wheel. Drivers who violate the zero tolerance requirements face a 3 day immediate licence suspension along with other penalties.
Beyond the possibility of severe injury or death, there are other costs associated with driving impaired. Below is an example of costs to a first time convicted impaired driver:
Criminal Code Fine – $1000
Remedial Measures Program – $578
Licence Reinstatement Fee – $150
Increase in Insurance Costs – variable
Ignition Interlock – $1,350
Court Costs – $2,000 – $10,000
Driving-related Criminal Code convictions remain on a driver’s record for at least 10 years.
(Costs based on content from http://www.arrivealive.org/)