Drinking and Driving in Canada: Facts You Should Know

As you probably know, getting a Canadian drivers license is no easy task. It takes money, effort, practice and lots of time. Of course, once you get your license, there are important things that you must do to keep your license and to be safe on the roads. One important thing that all Canadian drivers should remember is that drinking and driving is never okay. If you want to drink, make sure that you find a transportation solution besides driving yourself home.

Here are some facts about drinking and driving in Canada that all drivers should know.

Drinking & Driving Facts You Should Know

  1. 1

    Drinking and driving is a serious offense.

    Many people think that it isn’t that big of a deal to drink and drive. They justify that it is only a problem if they get caught. This is not true. If you drink and drive you are putting yourself and your passengers at a bigger risk of accident or death. You are also endangering other drivers on the roads. Many of the provinces in Canada take drinking and driving very seriously. In fact Ontario has some of the strictest laws relating to alcohol and driving in all of North America.

  2. 2

    If you are caught with a blood alcohol level of .05% or higher you can have your license temporarily suspended immediately.

    Ontario has a special program that allows for an immediate suspension of your driver’s license if you are caught driving in what they call the warm range (blood alcohol level between .05% and .08%). If your license is temporarily suspended you will have to pay a fine of $150 and can lose your license anywhere from 3 days to a month. These road side suspensions cannot be contested, overturned or disputed and the consequences get worse with each offense.

  3. 3

    Learner drivers must always have a blood alcohol level of 0% if they want to drive.

    If you are a learner driver you cannot have any alcohol in your blood when you are driving. This means that you should avoid drinking alcohol entirely for several hours before driving. Your supervising driver will also have limits on their alcohol consumption, so make sure that you understand the legal limits and that you adhere to them. It is much safer for learner drivers if they learn to drive without the added impairment of alcohol.

  4. 4

    If you have been drinking don’t even sit behind the steering wheel.

    Your vehicle doesn’t have to be moving to get a ticket for impaired driving in Canada. You can get a ticket for simply sitting behind the wheel of a stationary vehicle. If you have been drinking stay out of the front driver’s seat. This will help you to avoid getting a drinking and driving conviction and will keep you from actually driving the car as well.

  5. 5

    If you are taking medications, be aware that this can impact the effect that alcohol has on your body.

    Many medications make the effects of alcohol much stronger on the body. This can mean that while you will be intoxicated much more quickly and with less alcohol. If you are taking any medications pay close attention to your body. If you feel intoxicated, don’t drive even if you haven’t had that much to drink.

  6. 6

    If you are under 21 you cannot drink and drive.

    If you are going to drive you must always have zero alcohol in your blood, even if you have a full and unrestricted license. Be aware of the various provisions that you face on your drivers license to avoid getting in trouble for driving while intoxicated.

  7. 7

    If you are repeatedly caught drinking and driving you will have to attend an alcohol treatment program.

    Canada drivers that are caught drinking and driving multiple times will be required to enroll in an alcohol education program. These programs cost $578 and will take lots of your time to complete. If you don’t want to have to attend one of these programs, don’t drink and drive.

  8. 8

    Drinking and driving can make your auto insurance more expensive.

    If you are convicted of drinking and driving your auto insurance premiums will go up a lot. In fact they can increase as much as $4,500 per year. This is a lot of money and can make driving too expensive for many drivers. Rather than risking expensive insurance rates, ask a friend to drive you home if you are intoxicated. It is safer and will save you a lot of money and hassle.

  9. 9

    Some drinking and driving offenders have to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle.

    Many of those that are convicted of drinking and driving have to get an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. This device will measure the alcohol on your breath before you can start the vehicle and then periodically as you drive. An ignition interlock device costs $1,300 to install and cannot be disabled. This means that if someone else drives your vehicle they will have to use the interlock device as well. In addition, you will be unable to drive any vehicles without this device.

  10. 10

    You can get in trouble for drinking and driving if your blood alcohol level is higher than .05%.

    Many drivers think that you have to be severely intoxicated to get in trouble for drinking and driving. This is not true. You can have your license temporarily suspended if you are caught driving with a blood alcohol level higher than .05%. You can also face fines and other complications. The penalties are even higher for those that drive with a blood alcohol level higher than .08%. Since you cannot know your blood alcohol level without testing it, it is a good idea to completely avoid driving if you have been drinking. Arrange for rides, make other plans or take a taxi. This will keep the roads in Canada safer and will help you to avoid getting in trouble for drinking and driving.