One of the reasons why people choose to drive impaired is because they’ve bought into impaired driving myths or rumors. Maybe they heard from a friend who heard from someone else that they should refuse to give a breath sample and they’ll never be charged with impaired driving. Or, that they can have 2 or 3 drinks then hyperventilate when blowing into a breathalyzer so they’ll never blow over .08.
Here are a few other impaired driving myths in Canada:
Myth: An impaired driving charge and an ‘over 80’ charge are the same thing
Fact: Under Canada’s Criminal Code, ‘over 80’ and impaired driving are two separate charges and you can’t be convicted of both for the same incident. Impaired has to do with how the alcohol affects you, while ‘over 80’ is your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).
Myth: I wasn’t driving my car when I was drunk, I was just sitting in it.
Fact: In Canada, you can be charged with something called, ‘care and control.’ That means if you’re in the drivers seat, even if the car is shut off and you’re not driving it, you can still be charged with impaired driving because you were in care and control of the car.
Myth: Drivers license suspensions aren’t applicable if I need my license for work
Fact: Anyone who has been charged with ‘over 80’ or impaired driving will be required to lose their drivers license for at least one full year. The offender will also be required to install an ignition interlock device when he or she gets their drivers license back.
The biggest problem with these myths is that they result in someone getting behind the wheel while drunk, and that act can have consequences that go beyond a drunk driving charge. The driver could injure or kill someone else or themselves, and that’s something you can’t undo.