Manitoba doesn’t mess around when it comes to drinking and driving. The province has a clear set of definitions as to the types of vehicles you can be charged on, what the immediate administrative penalties are, and the potential long-term criminal consequences of impaired driving.
You can be charged for impaired driving in Manitoba if you are intoxicated by alcohol or drugs and operating or in care and control of any type of motor vehicle including:
- Trains and railway machinery
- Implements of husbandry
- Special mobile machines
- Off-road vehicles including snowmobiles and dirt bikes
Once stopped for impaired driving, your driver’s license will be automatically suspended for 24 hours if any of the following occurs:
- You submit to a breath screening device and you register a warning or a fail on the device
- Your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is over .05
- You fail field sobriety tests or are too impaired to perform the tests as requested by the arresting officer
Your driver’s license could also be immediately suspended for 3 months if you refuse to provide a breath or blood sample or you refuse to participate in field sobriety tests. At the time of suspension, your vehicle may also be removed at the arresting officer’s discretion and you’ll have to pay towing and impounding fees.
The types of criminal offenses you can be charged with when impaired driving in Manitoba include the following:
- Driving while impaired by drugs or alcohol
- Refusing to provide a breath or blood sample upon request
- Driving with a BAC over .08
- Impaired driving causing bodily harm or death
If you’re convicted of impaired driving in Manitoba and it’s your first offense, the following criminal penalties will apply:
- Fines up to $1000
- One year license suspension
In addition to the fines and license suspension, all impaired driving offenders in Manitoba are required to install an ignition interlock device in all vehicles they drive. The ignition interlock program must start after the mandatory license suspension unless the offender has a conditional license, and the duration of the interlock program will range from one year to a lifetime depending on the number of offenses.
If someone is required to have an ignition interlock device installed but they don’t follow through with the program or they drive without the ignition interlock device, they could be required to pay fines up to $5000, go to jail for up to one year, or both.
Whether you drive a tractor or you’re out for the weekend having a good time on your snowmobile, if you choose to drink and drive on any type of vehicle in Manitoba, you’ll end up with an impaired driving charge. For more information on impaired driving and ignition interlock devices in Manitoba, check out Manitoba Justice.