Drinking and Driving Laws

What Are the New Laws for Drinking and Driving?

Ontario is making the province’s roads safer for all Ontarians with new changes that will help protect young and novice drivers.

All drivers 21 years of age and younger must have a zero blood alcohol level when they get behind the wheel or face:

  • An immediate 24-hour licence suspension
  • 30-day licence suspension
  • Up to $500 in fines

Drivers in the Graduated Licensing System will face tougher penalties if they violate the conditions of their licence or if they are convicted of any Highway Traffic Act offences that carry four or more demerit points. Penalties include:

  • 30-day licence suspension for the first instance
  • 90-day licence suspension for a second instance
  • Further instances can lead to a cancellation of the licence and other penalties

Also, eligible drivers convicted of an impaired driving offence for the first time, will be able to reduce their licence suspension if they agree to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle, at their own cost. This will help impaired drivers change their behaviour to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders. These changes are part of the Road Safety Act 2009 and 2007’s Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act and will help keep drivers safe on Ontario roads.

Here are some “sobering statistics” from the Ministry of Transportation:

  • The peak ages of drinking and driving collisions are 19, 20 and 21
  • In Ontario, 235 drivers age 21 and under were killed in drinking and driving collisions in the latest 10-year period for which statistics are available
  • Crashes involving drivers suspended for a drinking and driving conviction are 3.4 times more likely to be fatal