Tough New Penalties for Impaired Drivers in Effect

Ontario Drunk Driving Laws

In an attempt to make the roads safer for all drivers, a more-stringent set of penalties for drunk driving have recently gone into effect across Canada. An article on the new laws—and what they mean for drivers—is available here.

New laws in effect carry heavy fines and other penalties for impaired driving. One part of the new legislation allows police to request all drivers submit to a breathalyzer at officer discretion. Police officials and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Canada are these stiffer penalties will make people drivers reconsider getting behind the wheel if they have been drinking.

How the Law Works

The revised penalty structure is based on the offender’s Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). First offenders with a BAC of 80-119mg per 100 millilitres face a $1,000 fine. Those with a BAC of 120-159mg face a $1,500 fine. Those with a BAC of 160mg or more—as well as any driver who refuses testing—will face a $2,000 fine. Second offences will carry a mandatory 30-day jail sentence. Third offences carry a minimum sentence of 120 days behind bars.

Just One Example

To illuminate the scope of the problem, police in Thunder Bay, Ontario have charged 90 people with impaired driving during the first half of 2018 alone. This figure represents an increase over recent years. According to local police:

  • 77% of people charged were male
  • The average age of people charged is 37
  • BAC ranged 46mg/100mL to 397mg/100ml
  • 13 people were charged between 2-3 a.m.
  • Over half of charges were laid on weekends

We Can Help

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