We’ve all heard stories of how reckless teens can be while driving. Whether it’s street racing or driving while impaired, Ontario’s graduated-licensing system was put in place to teach teens the right way to drive and protect them from driving behaviors that could result in injury or death.
All new drivers in Ontario must complete three stages, G1, G2, and full G, before the graduated licensing program is complete and there are restrictions associated with each level. Beginning with level G1, some of the restrictions are:
- Must maintain a ‘zero’ blood alcohol concentration (BAC) while driving
- Must always drive with a licensed driver with a minimum of 4 years licensed driving experience
- The licensed driver accompanying the G1 driver must have a BAC of less than .05
- May not drive between midnight and 5:00 am
If a G1 driver is stopped and submits to a breathalyzer test, then is found to have any amount of alcohol in their system, they will receive an immediate driver’s license suspension. If convicted, they will pay fines up to $500 and will receive a suspension for 30 days on a first offense, 90 days for a second offense, and if there is a 3rd offense within a five year period, the driver will have their license canceled and must reapply for a G1 license.
The province of Ontario also has a law preventing anyone under the age of 21, whether they have a full G license or not, from consuming any amount of alcohol before driving. Anyone convicted of impaired driving under the age of 21 will be subject to penalties including an immediate 24-hour driver’s license suspension and a potential 30-day driver’s license suspension. If the person charged would like to drive during their suspension, they may be able to apply for a restricted license and take part in Ontario’s ignition interlock program.
Road crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, and although the requirements are strict and the penalties are stiff, taking part in the graduated-licensing program is a teen’s best option for learning safe driving habits.