If you are a motorist in Canada who has a habit of drinking and getting behind the wheel, learning about the penalties given to people that are caught because of impaired driving can be a good way to reduce or even eliminate your risky behavior. These forms of punishment have been developed by national, territorial, and provincial governments to address the issues concerning this criminal offense in the country. To help you get started, here are a few general information about Canadian impaired driving penalties:
First of all, if a policeman pulls you over because of a certain traffic violation and observes indications of intoxication in your physical state, he will require you to take a roadside sobriety test. If you fail the examination, which means that you are indeed drunk, the first penalty that will be given to you is the suspension of your license. The police officer who has obliged you to take the field test can immediately confiscate your driver’s license. Usually, the suspension can be effective for 90 days, but this may vary depending mainly on the number of drunk driving offenses you have previously made. In addition, if you refuse to take the standard sobriety test, your license can also be suspended.
Aside from license suspension, vehicle confiscation is another penalty given to individuals who are charged with an impaired driving offense. This punishment can last for a minimum of three months, however, the confiscation of an automobile can be permanent in some extreme cases.
Lastly, certain Canadian provinces have recently used ignition interlock devices to penalize offenders. This instrument prevents a driver from starting his car once it has found traces of alcohol in his breath.
Impaired Driving Law
A set of laws have been implemented and imposed by the Canadian government to address the increasing concerns brought by the effects of impaired driving. In general, these laws can be summed into a number of points.
First of all, an individual who is caught operating any type of vehicle while he is under the influence of drugs or has a blood alcohol level that reaches or exceeds 80 milligrams can be accused and charged with an impaired driving offense. The exact alcohol concentration limit may vary from one province to another, hence, it is advisable for motorists to consult their local government. Second, the motorist commits an additional offense if he refuses or fails to allow an officer to obtain a breath sample that will be used by a roadside screening instrument to verify his intoxication.
Next, an individual who has committed one or both of the above-mentioned offenses will lose his driver’s license for a minimum of one year. This particular impaired driving law is strictly implemented in most Canadian provinces. Aside from the suspension of the license of a convicted drunk driver, there are other penalties set out by the law. These include payment of fines, confiscation of the vehicle, and possible imprisonment for up to ten years or more.
Moving on, the Canadian laws concerning impaired driving also state that the person accused has the right to receive a fair trial. For this purpose, he is given the chance to acquire legal assistance from an impaired driving lawyer in Toronto who will represent his interests in court and clear his charge or reduce his sentence.
Impaired Driving Accidents
Imagine a scenario wherein an automobile has collided with another vehicle or any other roadside structure like a wall or a post. Its windows are broken and its seemingly sturdy metallic body is contorted severely. Worst of all, an individual is inside the wreckage and is injured and unconscious. Now put yourself in the position of the person being carried on a stretcher out of the car wreck.
The above-mentioned situation may seem too grim, but it can actually happen to you and to the ones you care about. Furthermore, a much harsher reality states that accidents such as these are caused by something as negligent as impaired driving. This criminal act refers to the maneuvering of any type of motor vehicle while one is intoxicated with drugs and/or alcohol. Studies made by concerned organizations state that every year, thousands of drivers, passengers, and pedestrians are injured or killed due to impaired driving accidents.
Aside from causing numerous untimely deaths, impaired driving accidents also result in the spending of significantly large amounts of money. DUI-related accidents in Canada have been reported to cost billions of dollars due to property damage and death among motorists.
But although accidents related to impaired driving have severe consequences, there are ways for you to prevent or lessen the occurrence of this unfavorable event. The best way to avoid these accidents is to be a responsible driver yourself. Never drink alcohol or take any strong medication before or while driving your car. In the event that you have to travel but are mentally or physically incapable of doing so, have a trusted friend or a designated driver take you where you need to be.