Have you ever heard of the ‘warn range?’ The warn range is a relatively new addition to provincial impaired driving laws in British Columbia and Ontario, but it’s something a lot of Canadians are starting to talk about.
Impaired driving laws have been revamped in recent years, and they’ve added a penalty if you’re found to be drinking and driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .05 to .08. Yes, that’s under the legal limit, but warn range penalties are put into place to show drivers that even a small amount of alcohol is enough to impair your driving abilities and affect coordination, vision, and depth perception.
What can happen when you drive, are stopped by police, and receive a warn range breathalyzer reading? Just take a look at this public service announcement by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for an idea.
Warn range laws depend on your province. In Ontario, you’ll receive an immediate 3-day license suspension for a first occurrence. If you continue to drive in the warn range and have 3 or more occurrences in a 5 year period, you’ll be required to install a car breathalyzer in your vehicle for a period of six months and will have to pay a penalty. For British Columbians, a first warn range penalty will require them to hand over their driver’s license for 3 days, they may have their vehicle impounded, and they will be required to pay fines up to $200.
Just like there is no way to tell how many drinks it will take you to get to the legal limit of .08, there’s no way to know how many drinks you’ll be able to consume before you get yourself into the warn range. Your best option to avoid an impaired driving conviction and penalties like jail time and a car breathalyzer is to call a sober driver when you’ve been out drinking.