Impaired driving and ignition interlock laws in Saskatchewan just went through a drastic change. As of June 27th, 2014, impaired drivers of all ages and blood alcohol concentrations (BAC) are subject to stricter enforcement and ignition interlock policies.
The changes for impaired driving and ignition interlock policy in Saskatchewan include:
- Drug-impaired drivers are now subject to the same sanctions as alcohol-impaired drivers, and that includes marijuana and prescription medicine use
- All convicted impaired drivers including first offenders will receive a mandatory ignition interlock sentence as well as immediate roadside impoundment of their vehicle
- If you refuse to provide a breath sample when stopped for suspected impaired driving, you will immediately lose your license for a period of time and, if convicted, will be required to install an ignition interlock for a period of one year.
- Fines have increased to $1,250 if you have a BAC between .08 and .15, and you’ll pay $2,250 if you have a BAC over .16
Saskatchewan has zero drug and alcohol tolerance laws for all new drivers under the age of 19 and those who are driving on the Graduated Driver’s Licensing Program. A new driver who has alcohol or drugs in their system are subject to the following penalties for a first offense:
- 60 day license suspension effective immediately
- Vehicle impoundment for 3 days
A second offense for new drivers includes the following penalties:
- 120 day license suspension effective immediately
- 7 day vehicle impoundment
- After 60 days of suspension, the driver can participate in a voluntary ignition interlock program for 120 days
- Completion of an impaired driving educational program
If you drive with a BAC of .08 in Saskatchewan and are convicted of impaired driving for the first time, the following penalties will apply:
- Immediate roadside license suspension
- Vehicle impoundment of 30 days if you have BAC of .08 to .15 and 60 days if you have a BAC of .16 and over
- Storage and towing costs payable. For 30 days, storage and towing will net you approximately $427
- Costs associated with the Safe Driver Recognition program of up to $2250
- Attendance at Alcohol and Drug Education program
- Ignition Interlock installation for 1 year
With Saskatchewan’s impaired driving record being the worst in all of Canada, it was definitely time to implement new drinking and driving and ignition interlock measures. If you live or are planning to visit Saskatchewan, leave your alcohol or drugs at home and never get behind the wheel impaired.