Ontario impaired driving laws are on a lot of people’s minds after yet another fatal drunk driving crash on Highway 401 near Whitby, Ontario recently. The driver of a jeep has been charged with impaired driving causing death after he cut off a tractor trailer and forced it into the ditch, killing the driver of the tractor trailer.
This latest crash has resulted in a call out to the Ontario Minister of Transportation, who says that Ontario impaired driving laws are constantly under review and changes are always pending. They’ve recently introduced Bill 31, a new law that would change distracted driving and drug-impaired driving laws, but that bill would make no change to Ontario alcohol-impaired driving laws.
Ontario already has strict impaired driving laws in place, and they include two different penalties depending on the driver’s blood alcohol concentration (BAC). If you are stopped by police and receive a .05 to .08 BAC reading on a breathalyzer, you’re considered to be in the warn range and you’ll immediately lose your driver’s license for 3 days. If you have a BAC over .08, you’ll receive a 90-day driver’s license suspension, pay high fines, could face jail time, and must install an ignition interlock device in any vehicle you drive.
Ontario has followed an impaired driving plan laid out by the Province of British Columbia, and with harsh penalties for all impaired drivers and an ignition interlock requirement for first time offenders, British Columbia is seeing a significant drop in the amount of fatal crashes in the province.
Although one more crash and one more life claimed is always one too many when it comes to drunk driving, if the changes in British Columbia are any consideration, Ontario impaired driving laws may be strict enough. It might just take time and continued enforcement before the province begins to see results.