The laws and implications for drinking alcohol prior to driving are different everywhere. In Canada, impaired driving and impact on the driver can vary from Province to Province. It is important to note that it is the responsibility of each person to ensure that they are aware of and that they follow the regulations in the province in which they are driving. Ignorance of the law is never an excuse, no matter the offence.
The legal blood alcohol limit in Canada is . 08. Drivers who prove to have a higher blood alcohol level than this, through legal testing methods which can include a breathalyzer test, or the collection of blood or urine for analysis, are guilty of a criminal offense and face criminal prosecution should they be convicted. Those who refuse to be tested are also guilty of an offence.
Some of the provinces in Canada have differing provincial legislation that does not tolerate any alcohol consumption for certain drivers. In many cases, this is for new drivers that are part of a graduated licensing program. In some provinces this zero tolerance law applies to drivers that are under a certain age.
Some of the Canadian provinces may also have local laws that can impose a penalty for a blood alcohol level that is lower than the national standard. The penalties can include a suspension of the driver’s license, fines or other charges.
There are some serious implications should a person face a DUI conviction in which their blood alcohol level is higher than the legal limit in Canada. Some of these can include the suspension or revoking of the driver’s license to drive a motor vehicle, fines, and in some cases, prison time.
Many employer’s require a criminal record check from potential employees. Having a driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) conviction may prevent an applicant from being considered for a job. Places of employment that require an employee to drive a company vehicle would consider a DUI conviction a serious liability and would likely reject the applicant. Some educational institutes require a criminal record check prior to acceptance in their programs, and a marred record can prevent the applicant from being admitted into school.
If a person has been in an accident while drinking and operating a motor vehicle, there can be serious implications. Insurance carriers will not cover damage to a vehicle where the driver was impaired. Aside from this, the person who was operating the vehicle, and others who may have been in the offending driver’s vehicle or otherwise a part of the accident can sustain injuries, or even death, that can further the charges against the offender.
Drinking and driving is a serious problem in all regions of Canada and one that cannot be ignored. Each person needs to be aware of impaired driving and impact on the driver. It is the responsibility of everyone who operates a motor vehicle to ensure they are accountable for their actions, are aware and abiding by the law, and that they do not consume alcohol before getting behind the wheel.
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