If you’ve ever had your keys in your hand and pondered whether or not you should get behind the wheel after drinking, you know that there is a real risk to what your decision will be. Even if you’re alone in the car, each and every time you drink and drive you have the potential to injure or kill yourself, your passenger, or anyone who crosses your path on the road. But every day people still make the choice to get behind the wheel while drunk, and sometimes they take innocent children along for the ride.
An Ontario woman did just that recently – while driving a Ford pick-up, she backed into a parked vehicle and immediately left the scene. She then continued to drive and was picked up by police after she called for assistance because her front tire was missing. When police arrived, they found a four-month-old baby in the vehicle and the driver to be over the legal limit of .08. She was arrested for impaired driving over 80 and driving on a suspended license.
Under the Canadian Criminal Code, anyone who drinks and drives with a child passenger could also have ‘aggravating factors’ tacked on when it comes to their sentencing for impaired driving. Aggravating factors under the Criminal Code of Canada include:
- Multiple passengers
- Child passenger
- Blood alcohol concentration of 120
- Operating without a license
Although sentencing is at the discretion of the courts and having aggravating factors will add additional penalties, Ontario impaired driving laws are already strict for repeat offenders. A second impaired driving charge will net you a 3 year driver’s license suspension, fines as determined by the judge, 30 days of jail time, and you must take part in Ontario’s ignition interlock program for a minimum of 3 years.
Drinking and driving with just you in the vehicle is never a good idea, but when you take your children along for the ride you’re putting their lives in danger. Think before you drink and drive, and always hand the keys over to someone else.