In Ontario, the Highway Traffic Act (HTA) sets the stage for the regulation of licenses and the classification of all traffic offenses. Although the act itself has been around since 1923, there have been a number of amendments over the years to keep up with the changing state of driving conditions on Ontario roads, and the latest changes are going to strengthen the province’s impaired driving laws.
Ontario already has strict impaired driving laws, and they include an immediate driver’s license suspension if you’re caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) between .05 and over, the possibility of having your vehicle impounded, and an ignition interlock requirement for all offenders with a BAC of .08 and over. If passed, the new amendments to the HTA will introduce rules and regulations designed to keep roads even safer from drunk drivers including:
- All repeat impaired drivers will be required to complete an alcohol education program, alcohol treatment program, and an alcohol monitoring program
- The current Reduced Suspension with Ignition Interlock Conduct Review Program will be extended to repeat offenders
Drugged drivers will not be exempt from new sanctions if the proposed amendments are made to the Highway Traffic Act. The new rules for drug impaired driving include:
- Roadside suspensions for periods of 3 days for a first offense, then escalating to 7 days, 30 days, and 90 days for repeat offenses
- Offenders must complete a treatment and education plan
- Offenders may be required to install an ignition interlock device
- Offenders will have their vehicle’s impounded for 7 days
The amendments may seem harsh to some, but the steady number of Ontario road fatalities means changes to the act are required. Over 45 percent of drivers killed on Ontario roads had drugs or alcohol in their systems, and even one more fatality due to intoxicated driving is one too many. For more information on Ontario’s impaired driving laws, take a look at LifeSafer’s Ontario page.
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