In Canada you can vote when you turn 18, and you have the option to legally head out to bars or nightclubs and drink alcohol when you turn 19. But for young people in the country, turning the magical age of 19 doesn’t mean the restrictions are over.
Zero tolerance laws prevent anyone under the age of 22 from driving with any amount of alcohol in their system, and many provinces are jumping on board and coming up with their own zero tolerance laws.
The province of Ontario adopted zero tolerance for drivers under the age of 22 in 2010. If you’re wondering exactly what zero tolerance could mean for you or someone you know under the age of 22 in Ontario, take a look at this public service announcement (PSA) from Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
If you’re stopped for impaired driving and you’re under the age of 22, you’ll be required to sign up for a car breathalyzer program, but you will receive an immediate driver’s license suspension of 24 hours and a court date. If you’re convicted of impaired driving under the age of 22 in Ontario, you’ll pay fines up to $500 and receive a 30-day driver’s license suspension.
If you think Ontario’s zero tolerance policies are severe, just take a look at Quebec’s impaired driving laws for drivers under the age of 22 – if you’re a young driver caught impaired driving in Quebec, you’ll receive an immediate 3 month driver’s license suspension, pay fines up to $600, and you’ll gain 4 demerit points on your driver’s license.
Statistics show that young people between the ages of 20 to 24 are the group most likely to drive impaired. By choosing the age of 22 for zero tolerance impaired driving laws, these groups of high-risk young drivers are restricted from even having one drink before driving. Just having to abide by this one simple law could save many lives.
For more information on zero tolerance and Ontario’s impaired driving laws, take a look at impaired driving laws in Ontario.