Ontario’s new Impaired Driving Laws
Ontario has been updating its Impaired Driving Laws throughout the year. These changes mostly focus on the behaviour of drivers under the age of 21, or that have a G1, G2, M1, and M2 license. The focus is on a “zero tolerance policy” for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol for this group. In contrast, fully-licensed drivers can have a maximum blood-alcohol level of 0.08.
Starting on July 1, 2018, drivers under 21 years old or that have a G1, G2, M1, or M2 license (also known as “novice drivers”) cannot have any cannabis or any other drugs that can be identified by an oral fluid screening device in their body. Novice drivers also face new penalties for having a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08. Upon the first offence, their license will be suspended for three days, and after January 2019, they will be fined $250. If there is a second offence within five years, their license will be suspended for seven days, after January 2019, they will be fined $350, and if this is the second offence in 10 years, they will have to attend a mandatory education program. For the third offence in five years, their license will be suspended for 30 days, they will attend a mandatory treatment program (if it is the third offence in 10 years), use an ignition interlock device for at least 6 months (if this is the third offence in 10 years), attend a mandatory medical evaluation, and after January 2019, they will be fined $450.
If a novice driver’s BAC is over 0.08, or if they refuse testing, they will now face a 90 day license suspension. In addition, their vehicle will be impounded for seven days, and after January 2019, they will be fined $550. For the second offence in 10 years, they will face the penalties listed above, and will also have to attend a mandatory education or treatment program. If there is a third offence in 10 years, they will have the same penalties that have been listed, and also have to use an ignition interlock device for a minimum of six months.
If a novice driver’s license has been suspended three times for violating any of these policies, their license will be cancelled.
If you would like to learn more about these changes, click here!
To learn about Ontario’s towing laws, click here!
To learn about distracted driving in Ontario, click here!