You might have heard of DUI – driving under the influence and DWI – driving while impaired, but have you heard of ‘care and control?’ According to DWI Laws in Ontario, if you’re intoxicated while in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, even if you’re just sitting while you sober up from drinking, you are in care and control of that vehicle and you could lose your license.
The care and control violation is the perfect example of how strict DWI Laws in Ontario are. Penalties in the province vary according to blood alcohol level, and if you register a blood alcohol level (BAC) between .05 and .08 you will be charged as follows:
- First offenders will lose their license for 3 days and pay $150 in fines
- If a second offense occurs within 5 years of the first, the offender will lose their license for 7 days and must enroll in an alcohol education class
- For a third offense within 5 years, the offender will lose his or her license for 30 days, must attend an alcohol treatment program, pay $250 in fines, and must install an ignition interlock device for six months
For Ontario offenders who have a blood alcohol level of .08 or higher, the penalties are as follows:
- A first offender will lose their license for one year, pay $1000 in fines, and must install an ignition interlock device for one year
- The second offense will require a 3 year license suspension, fines as determined by the judge, 30 days of jail time, and must install an ignition interlock device for three years
- A third offense will require 10 years to a lifetime license suspension, fines determined by the judge, 120 days of jail time, and if the offender will ever receive a license again, they are required to install an ignition interlock device
DWI Laws in Ontario are as strict as any laws you’ll find in Canada. That’s why it’s a good idea to always call a cab or hand over you keys to a designated driver if you’ve been drinking.