Alcohol-Impaired Driving Penalties Have Changed!

On December 18, 2018 the penalties for alcohol-impaired driving changed.

man driving car at sunset with blurry road aheadOne of the major changes is that police no longer require reasonable suspicion to require a roadside breath test for any driver. Refusal of the test will mean automatic criminal charges with similar penalties as those of an impaired driving conviction. In addition to stricter mandatory minimum penalties, there have also been changes to maximum penalties.

You should be aware that provinces have also added additional penalties related to impaired driving. This past summer, Ontario updated its impaired driving laws. The majority of the changes affect novice drivers and those under the age of 21. However, one of the biggest additions is that anyone criminally convicted of impaired driving will now need to undergo a mandatory medical evaluation to determine whether they meet the requirements for driving in Ontario.

Penalties for drug-impaired driving

Alcohol-impaired

  • Charge:
    • Alcohol-impaired driving
    • Having a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) at or over 80mg per 100ml of blood within 2 hours of driving
    • Penalty:
      • 1st offence: Mandatory minimum $1000 fine; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
      • 2nd offence: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
      • 3rd offence: Mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Drug-impaired

  • Charge:
    • Drug-impaired driving
    • Having 5ng or more of THC per ml of blood within 2 hours of driving
    • Any detectable level of LSD, psilocybin, psilocin, ketamine, PCP, cocaine, methamphetamine, 6-mam within 2 hours of driving
    • Having 5mg or more of GHB per 1 litre of blood within 2 hours of driving
    • Penalty:
      • 1st offence: Mandatory minimum $1000 fine; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
      • 2nd offence: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
      • 3rd offence: Mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Combination

  • Charge: Having a BAC of 50mg per 100ml of blood + 2.5ng or more of THC per 1ml of blood within 2 hours of driving
    • Penalty:
      • 1st offence: Mandatory minimum $1000 fine; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
      • 2nd offence: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
      • 3rd offence: Mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
  • Charge: Refusal to comply with demand for sample
    • Penalty:
      • 1st offence: Mandatory minimum $2000 fine
      • 2nd offence: Mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment
      • 3rd offence: Mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment; Maximum 10 years imprisonment

Drug-impaired driving – Summary conviction

  • Charge: Having over 2ng but less than 5ng of THC per ml of blood within 2 hours of driving
    • Penalty: Maximum $1000 fine
  • Charge: Impaired driving causing bodily harm
    • Penalty:
      • Summary conviction: maximum 2 years imprisonment less a day
      • Indictment: maximum 14 years imprisonment
  • Charge: Impaired driving causing death
    • Penalty: Indictment: Maximum life imprisonment
  • Charge: 1st offence + BAC of 80-119 ml
    • Penalty: mandatory minimum $1000 fine
  • Charge: 1st offence + BAC of 120-159ml
    • Penalty: mandatory minimum $1500 fine
  • Charge: 1st offence + BAC of 160 mg or more
    • Penalty: mandatory minimum $2000 fine

 

Article Source and for additional information visit:
Canadian Ministry of Transportation and/or  Canadian Department of Justice