By Ryan A. Murray
Having care and control of a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol content exceeding 0.08 is a crime. Having care and control of a vehicle while your ability to do so is impaired by alcohol or drugs is also a crime. In addition, Ontario has a zero tolerance policy with respect to alcohol consumption by novice drivers.
In Canada prison sentences are handed out in more than ten percent of all drunk driving cases and a conviction can seriously affect a person’s ability to travel or obtain employment. In addition, convicted drunk drivers face a licence suspension, a minimum $1,000 fine, higher insurance premiums and difficulty obtaining car insurance in the future. Repeat offenders also face the prospect of ignition locks being placed on their vehicles.
It should also be noted that if you are injured while driving under the influence of alcohol you likely will not be eligible for certain no-fault benefits from your own car insurance company. These excluded benefits include important weekly income replacement benefits in the event your injury prevents you from working.
During the past decade, more than 2,000 lives have been lost and more than 50,000 people have sustained injuries in collisions involving a drinking driver.
Drunk driving remains a real and serious concern in our society. As the holiday season approaches there will be the usual increase in festive occasions that may include alcoholic beverages. Please remember to use alternate forms of transportation if you are planning to consume alcohol over the holidays, and never drink and drive.