New impaired driving laws are set to be in place today.
What’s the deal?
Canada’s new impaired driving laws will make our roads “among the strongest in the world.”
Police officers now have the power to test anyone pulled over with a roadside breathalyzer test, without needing reasonable suspicion as they had to before.
Tell me more…
According to this article from Global News, the new laws eliminate the “bolus drinking defence”, in which a person could argue that the time between consuming large quantities of alcohol and driving is not long enough for their blood alcohol level to reach an illegal limit.
It also outlines the new penalties for an impaired driving conviction:
- First offence, with blood alcohol content of 80-119 mg: mandatory minimum $1,000 fine
- First offence, with blood alcohol content of 120-159 mg: mandatory minimum $1,500 fine
- First offence, with blood alcohol content of 160 mg or more: mandatory minimum $2,500 fine
- First offence, but refuse to be tested: mandatory minimum $2,000 fine
- Second offence: mandatory minimum 30 days imprisonment
- Third or more offence: mandatory minimum 120 days imprisonment
- Maximum penalties for impaired driving causing no bodily harm or death: summary conviction carries two years less a day imprisonment, indictment carries 10 years imprisonment
- Maximum penalties for impaired driving causing bodily harm: Summary conviction for less severe injuries carries two years less a day imprisonment, indictment carries 14 years imprisonment
- Maximum penalty impaired driving causing death: life imprisonment
How does this affect my insurance?
If you get in an accident while driving high, your insurance company will not cover any damage costs to your vehicle and you can expect to have to pay to play. According to our Personal Lines Account Manager Rachel Speijer, “if you want to continue driving, you will then have to enter in to a high-risk policy which means paying double what your original policy was, plus a %50 surcharge.”