The Supreme Court of Canada struck down one of Canada’s harshest impaired driving laws. The 2010 British Columbia law allowed for automatic 90-day suspensions using roadside tests, which are often inaccurate. The Court found that the 2010 law did not have sufficient oversight to protect drivers’ rights and violated the search and seizure protections in the Charter. The law had been amended in 2012 to fix the problems and the court didn’t rule whether the 2012 law is valid – but those who were penalized between 2010 and 2012 may get reimbursed.
What matters for Ontarians, and the rest of Canada, is that the Court also ruled on whether the province overstepped their power in passing the law. The Court held that provinces have the responsibility to ensure highway safety and that they have the right to pass legislation that achieves this goal. The Court found that while this particular law was unconstitutional, provinces have the right and responsibility to pass impaired driving laws.
In Ontario, if you’re under 21 or a novice driver (G1 and G2 licenses) you must have Zero Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC). If you’re caught with a BAC above zero your driver’s license will be suspended for 24 hours and you could face a further suspension and a fine on conviction.
If you’re over 21, have a G license, and your BAC is between 0.05 and 0.08, this is considered the “warning range”. If it’s the first warning, you’ll face a three day roadside suspension and a $180 fine. The suspensions and fines increase with each offence.
If you test over the legal limit (0.08) or you refuse a drug or alcohol test, you face an immediate 90 day roadside license suspension, $180 fine, and 7 day vehicle impoundment. If you’re convicted for a first offence, you’re facing a year long license suspension, a $1000 fine, an ignition interlock device, and a mandatory alcohol education or treatment program. If it’s a second, third, or further offence, then you’re facing jail time, steeper fines, and a 3 year to lifetime license suspension.
Getting Impaired Driving Legal Help
Considering the tough impaired driving laws on the books in Ontario, it’s important that you get good legal advice and assistance. The lawyers at Smordin Law have years of experience fighting impaired driving charges and can help you navigate Ontario’s impaired driving laws