With festivities getting underway in homes and workplaces across the province, drivers are reminded to plan ahead for a safe ride home: call a cab, ride with a designated driver, or stay overnight.
About one-quarter of all fatalities on Ontario roads are alcohol-related. That’s why Ontario has some of the toughest impaired driving laws in North America.
Drivers with a blood alcohol concentration level in the 0.05-0.08 “warn” range face an immediate licence suspension for three days for the first instance, seven days for the next, and 30 days for the third and subsequent instances.
Drivers caught with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit—higher than 0.08—face an immediate 90-day licence suspension.
And, if convicted, they also face mandatory participation in remedial alcohol education and treatment programs, as well as having an ignition interlock condition placed on their driver’s licence for at least one year.
“If you are drinking alcoholic beverages, you need to be sure you have a safe ride home,” said Transportation minister Jim Bradley.
“It is never worth the risk to get behind the wheel after even one drink,” he stressed.
“Impaired driving is a significant concern at this time of year, when holiday parties and celebrations are so plentiful,” noted Margaret Miller, national president of MADD Canada.
“We are asking everyone to make responsible decisions,” she added. “Let’s all do our part to make this holiday season a safe one, free from impaired driving crashes.”
MADD Canada ranks Ontario as having the most effective impaired driving laws in Canada.
You don’t need to have a blood alcohol concentration in excess of 0.08 to be impaired. Drivers whose blood alcohol concentration is 0.05-0.08 are about seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than someone who has not been drinking.
In 2006, drinking and driving was a contributing factor in 190 deaths on Ontario roads.