Saskatchewan can feel like a scary place to be a driver. The province that’s known as the ‘land of the living skies’ is also known for having one of the worst impaired driving records in the entire country, and the fatality rate due to drinking and driving is still climbing.
Prior to June of 2014, if you made the choice to drink and drive you’d get off relatively easy. There was no mandatory ignition interlock requirement and no roadside driver’s license suspension, and that might be why there are so many repeat offenders in the province. Once the new laws passed, a lot of people have had to find out what life is like after an impaired driving charge, and in Saskatchewan it’s no bed of roses.
Once you blow into a breathalyzer and register .08 in Saskatchewan, police will immediately suspend your driver’s license. That means you will not be able to leave the scene of your arrest without assistance, and you better find another means of transportation because your vehicle will be impounded for a minimum of 30 days if your blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .08 to .15 or 60 days if you have a .16 or higher BAC.
You might not have wanted your vehicle to be stored and towed, but you’ll be on the hook for the bill when it is. For approximately 30 days of storage and the towing fee, you’ll pay at least $400. That’s on top of the standard impaired driving fines of $1,250 for a BAC between .08 to .15 and $2,250 for a BAC over .16.
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
There might not be jail time for a first impaired driving offense, but that doesn’t mean you get to walk away without penalties. You’ll have to pay the costs associated with the Safe Driver Recognition program to the tune of $2250 as well as attend an Alcohol and Drug Education program.
When you do get your driver’s license back, you’re going to need to pay for the cost of installing an ignition interlock device in every vehicle you need to drive. Your ignition interlock program will run for one year, and can go longer if you’re a repeat offender.
Life after an impaired driving charge in Saskatchewan doesn’t sound like fun, does it? Stay sober when living or visiting the province and you won’t have to pay the steep price of drinking and driving.
Image from Global News