Drinking and driving is a snap decision with long-term, far-reaching consequences. Take the ignition interlock penalty for impaired driving as an example – if you have a job where you drive for a living or are required to drive your employer’s vehicle, having an impaired driving conviction and a license suspension may have a negative impact on your employer.
In most Canadian provinces, you are not required to inform your employer if you require an ignition interlock device as a condition of your restricted license, but you are required to have one installed in each and every vehicle you drive. That means if you drive a commercial vehicle or a company car, that vehicle would also be required to have an ignition interlock installed in order for you to drive it. Although you don’t need to inform your employer about your ignition interlock program, you are required to ask for permission before installing an ignition interlock in a vehicle you don’t own.
Employers know there is risk associated with having their employees drive their vehicles, and they are covered for that risk by insurance. But if you drive a company owned car or truck with an impaired driving conviction on record and you don’t ask your employer for permission to install an ignition interlock in their vehicle, you could be violating the terms of your interlock program and your employer’s insurance company may not cover crashes or damage to the vehicle.
Manitoba is the only exception to this rule. In Manitoba, if you are enrolled in an ignition interlock program, you can still drive your employer’s vehicle without an interlock installed as long as the registrar of driver’s services has given you permission to continue to drive as a condition of your employment.
When you drink and drive, you put your life and the lives of other people on the line. If you are required to drive for your job, an impaired driving conviction may affect your employer as well. Do yourself a favour and hand the keys over to someone sober the next time you’re out for a night on the town.