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Blonde woman wearing a pink sweater driving a car

According to the Department of Justice Canada, more than 69,000 impaired driving incidents were reported to police in 2017. In an effort to reduce that number, new impaired driving laws took effect in 2018.

If you've been charged with driving under the influence in Ontario, it's important to understand your options. Our law firm can help. But first, just what is impaired driving? Keep reading to learn more.

What Is Impaired Driving?

Impaired driving is when a driver has control of a vehicle while their abilities to operate the vehicle are affected by drugs or alcohol. Driving safety is at stake if someone gets behind the wheel intoxicated.

Drugs and alcohol can impact how a person processes information and handles their environment.

Alcohol, in particular, can decrease reaction time, reduce sight capabilities, and impair decision-making.

With how dangerous it can be to drive under the influence of substances, Ontario and the rest of Canada's Provinces have penalties in place to punish offenders.

Alcohol-Impaired Driving Laws in Ontario

The consequences of being charged with driving under the influence depend on a number of factors, including age and license type. For example, no drugs or alcohol are permitted for drivers 21 and under or anyone with a G1, G2, M1, or M2 license.

If a young or novice driver is charged with impaired driving for the first time under Ontario law, they incur an immediate three-day license suspension. They are also like to face a fine of up to $500, a license reinstatement fee, and an additional $250 penalty. Subsequent charges are more costly and will require education or treatment programs to have a license reinstated.

For anyone over the age of 21, there are two categories of intoxication: the warn range and impairment. Drivers fall under the warn range if their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) falls between .05 to .08 percent. A BAC over .08 percent is considered a full impairment.

Drivers charged with a BAC between .05 to .08 percent face similar consequences to young and novice drivers. Those who are deemed impaired, however, will, at minimum, lose their license for 90 days, face a seven-day vehicle impoundment, and must pay a $550 penalty along with a license reinstatement fee.

If a person is found guilty of driving impaired on multiple occasions, they may need to undergo treatment and have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle. An ignition interlock device requires the driver to use a breathalyzer to start their vehicle.

What to Do If You've Been Charged With Impaired Driving

If you've been charged with a crime like impaired driving, it's important to be supported by strong legal support.

If you need a criminal defence attorney in Barrie, Ontario, David Wilcox of David Wilcox LL. B. is ready to help. Whether you're looking for legal advice or information on criminal charges, the sooner you schedule a consultation, the better.

While we cannot guarantee case results, we will give you an honest impression of your case and ensure you understand your rights as well as your legal obligations.


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