Newfoundland is well known in Canada for being the youngest of the Canadian provinces, but even though it’s young, the local government hasn’t wasted any time fighting back against impaired driving. If you are caught drinking and driving, the consequences in Newfoundland are swift and immediate.
Here’s what life is like after a Newfoundland impaired driving charge
Imagine you’re driving along after having a single drink and you’re pulled over at a checkpoint in Newfoundland. Because you’ve only had one drink, you should be OK in terms of passing a breathalyzer test, right?
If you admit to drinking alcohol and driving and are asked to take a breathalyzer test, you could blow under .08, but .08 isn’t the magic number to avoid if you don’t want to endure impaired driving penalties in Newfoundland.
The province has its own penalties for anyone driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) over .05, so if you blow between .05 to .08 you could be in for a bit of a shock. A ‘warn’ range BAC can result in your receiving a 24-hour driver’s license suspension, so if you’re driving alone, you could have to call for a ride after receiving your BAC results at the checkpoint.
The real penalties kick in if you blow a BAC above .08. When that happens, you’re on the hook for criminal charges that include an immediate 24 hours driver’s license suspension and an additional 90-day driver’s license suspension that will only begin 14 days after you’re arrested.
Once you’ve seen a judge and you’re convicted of impaired driving in Newfoundland, you’ll need to become familiar with the bus system or learn to enjoy calling cabs because you’ll be prohibited from driving for an entire year. But there may be a light at the end of the tunnel: you will have the opportunity to install an ignition interlock device for 9 months instead of not being able to drive at all. If you enroll in the ignition interlock program, you’ll have to cover the cost of installing and removing the device plus a monthly fee.
The ignition interlock fees are on top of the fines associated with your impaired driving charge. Those fees mean you’re required to pay a minimum of $600 and $160 for the Think First fee, an alcohol education program you must attend. You’ll also have to open your wallet to pay your driver’s license reinstatement fees and you might even see an increase in your yearly insurance premiums.
Now that you can see what your life will like right after an impaired driving conviction in Newfoundland, having even one drink and then driving doesn’t seem so appealing, does it?