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Drinking and Driving

If you drink, you can't drive! Think of alternative solutions to avoid an accident, having your driver's licence suspended, demerit points on your driving record and, even worse, criminal charges.

Blood alcohol concentration and your driver's licence

You are guilty of a criminal offence if you drive with a blood alcohol concentration equal to or over 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (0.08).

However, you can still be arrested and criminally convicted for impaired driving with a blood alcohol concentration under 0.08.

Under the Highway Safety Code, the zero-alcohol rule applies to, among others:

  • all licence holders regardless of the licence class (automobile, motorcycle, etc.) or type of licence (learner's licence, probationary licence, regular driver's licence) who are under age 22
  • holders of a learner's licence, regardless of their age
  • holders of a probationary licence who do not hold any other class of licence. In other words, individuals who are in the process of obtaining their very first licence, regardless of their age

The zero-alcohol rule does not prevent anyone from drinking and partying, but rather from driving after drinking.

You think you have a foolproof trick?

Destroy the myths and lies!

Driving after drinking? Find alternative solutions instead

  • Use public transit.
  • Call your parents.
  • Call a taxi.
  • Think about drive-home services.
  • Choose a designated driver.
  • Sleep over at a friend's house.

Care or control of a vehicle

The law not only prohibits impaired driving, but also having the care or control of a vehicle while impaired. Here are some situations that can have the same consequences as impaired driving:

  • sitting in the driver’s seat, even if the vehicle is stopped or broken down
  • being in the vehicle (even asleep on the back seat) and having the possibility of starting the engine
  • being near the vehicle, for example to brush snow off the car or put things in the trunk

The police officer will assess whether it was possible for the person to drive the vehicle and whether he or she intended to drive.

Last update: May 17, 2022