Alcohol impairs your ability to drive as of the first drink. If you drink and drive, you are putting your life and the lives of others at risk, and you are also exposing yourself to serious legal consequences.
The effects of alcohol on driving
False sense of security and control
Difficulty maintaining a constant speed
Slower reaction times
You can be arrested if:
your blood alcohol concentration is equal to or over 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (0.08)
your ability to drive is impaired by drugs or alcohol, even if your blood alcohol concentration is below 0.08
you refuse to obey the orders of a peace officer, such as the order to breathe into an alcohol-screening device or to perform physical coordination tests
Legal consequences of drinking and driving
Below are some of the possible legal consequences of drinking and driving. This is only an overview and penalties may vary based on the number of offences and the blood alcohol concentration, among other things.
Highway Safety Code
Immediate licence suspension: 24 hours or 90 days (depending on the situation)
Immediate vehicle seizure and impoundment: 30 days (depending on the situation)
Following a criminal conviction
Prohibition from driving for a minimum one-year period
Licence revocation: 1 or 3 years (depending on the situation) or longer (depending on the decision of the court)
Drivers of a Taxi, Vehicle Comparable to a Taxi, Limousine, Bus or Minibus
Immediate suspension of the corresponding class for 24 hours
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.
Refusal to obey a peace officer
Refusing to breathe into an alcohol-screening device or to perform physical coordination tests automatically results in the stiffer penalties provided for under the Criminal Code and the Highway Safety Code.
Simple and effective alternative solutions
Only time can eliminate the effects of drugs and medication, so plan accordingly! To get around, you can:
ride in a taxi, use a rideshare service or take public transit