The Territories of Canada are located far up north, and although the landscape you’ll see when you visit is ranked as some of the most beautiful in Canada, it’s very sparsely populated. Although the population is low compared to other provinces in Canada, Yukon has one of the worst impaired driving records in the entire country.
Like the rest of Canada, the legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) for driving in Yukon is .08. If an officer suspects you of being under the influence, he or she can ask you to blow into a breathalyzer. If you have a high BAC but you don’t fail the test, meaning you fall under .08, the officer can still suspend your driver’s license for a period of 24 hours.
If you’re a new driver on the Graduated Licensing Program, the legal BAC is 0.00 or zero BAC. That means if you register any BAC on a breathalyzer, you can be charged with impaired driving.
When you’re charged with impaired driving in Yukon, you’ll be subject to territory penalties as well as Criminal Code of Canada (CCC) impaired driving charges. You’ll be required to pay the penalties associated with the CCC charge including fines up to $5,000 and possible jail time up to 18 months.
Yukon territory penalties for a first impaired driving offense include an immediate license suspension of 90 days and an administrative driver’s license suspension of one year. If you receive a second impaired driving charge, your driver’s license suspension will be three years, and any subsequent offense will require an indefinite license suspension.
There are options for impaired driving offenders in Yukon who don’t want to wait out their license suspension. An ignition interlock program is available to those who are convicted of impaired driving, who voluntarily apply for the program, or individuals who are directed by a judge to participate. The length of time required for the ignition interlock program is determined on a case by case basis.
Yukon has not changed their impaired driving laws for several years, and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has been vocal about changing the laws to reduce impaired driving in the territory. For more information on MADD’s fight against impaired driving in the Yukon, visit the MADD Yukon website.