Impaired driving laws were put in place to make the roads a safer place for all people. There are still individuals who will drive after consuming either alcohol and cannabis, so there must be laws created for this issue. Here are some updates on the Impaired Driving Laws of Canada.
Impaired Driving Laws
- Where officers were once only allowed to have drivers take breathalyzer tests if there was suspicion of impairment, now enforcement officers can require drivers to take the test when they are lawfully stopped if there is suspicion or not. If the test is refused, the driver can be charged, even if the driver is not impaired.
- You once could argue that your BAC was over the limit because you drank right before driving and it wasn’t in your system yet, but now you can’t be over the limit two hours before driving a vehicle
- If you consume both alcohol and cannabis, you cannot have 50 mg or more of alcohol per 100ml of blood and for the same amount of blood, the prohibited level of THC is 2.5 ng.
What Rules have not changed:
A Driver’s blood-alcohol concentration or BAC, is still at 80milligrams or more of alcohol to 100 milliliters of blood. If you are a driver under 21 years of age or are a new driver, you must have 0 mg of BAC.
Some non-criminal penalties that can come from a BAC that is below the Criminal legal limit are: impounding of vehicles, long-term insurance ramifications, and immediate, short suspensions.
What Rules have changed:
With the legalization of cannabis, mostly the psychoactive compound THC, there are two levels of impairment.
- If you have 5 nanograms or more per 1 ml of blood or
- You have between 2 to 5ng per 1 ml of blood.
Updated Penalties for Impaired Driving
First Offence minimum mandatory fine
- $1000 for 80-119mg BAC
- $1500 for 120-159mg BAC
- $2500 for 160mg or more BAC
- Refusal to take any test is $2000
Mandatory imprisonment of 30 days minimum
Third or more Offence
Mandatory imprisonment for 120 days minimum
Maximum Penalties for Impaired Driving
- You will face life imprisonment if charged with impaired driving causing death.
- You will face two years less a day of imprisonment on summary conviction, or up to 14 years in jail on an indictable conviction if you are charged with impaired driving causing bodily harm.
- For Impaired driving not resulting in death or bodily harm, you can face up to ten years of jail time on indictable conviction, or if on summary conviction, you can get two years less a day imprisonment.
Impaired driving is a serious matter and if you have any questions regarding this issue, please contact Minhas Lawyers. Not only can the lawyer answer questions and clarify concerns, but your lawyer can also guide you if you find yourself in this grave situation.
Minhas Lawyers LLP is a multi-practice law firm based in Mississauga. We advise and represent clients across various segments and practice areas.
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