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Impairment and its Effects on Driving

Drinking and Driving

Impaired driving is a serious offence.

Police have the right to stop any driver they suspect of being impaired and demand a breathalyzer test be taken.

A G-Class permit allows for a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08%, above which the driver will be charged with impaired driving. If the breathalyzer reads a “warning” level of above .05% BAC, the police will suspend the driver's license for 72 hours to ensure that the driver has a chance to sober up and regain the skills and response times required for safe driving.

Erratic Driving

It is important to know that if the police notice erratic driving they are entitled to suspend the license even if the breathalyzer reads below .05% BAC. This is because different people handle alcohol in different ways and to differing degrees. A driver with a G1 or G2 permit will receive a 30-day suspension if any alcohol is detected for a violation of a permit condition.

Does this seem too steep to you?

Consider these:

  • Alcohol impairs a driver's ability to see clearly.
  • Careful drivers tend to take more risks when drinking.
  • The more alcohol in the system, the less control a driver has over motor skills
  • Reaction times are reduced

Driving requires focus, attention, and most of all perception.

Alcohol increases the risk of collision
leading to injury and death manifold.

In these cases the driver involved can be convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm (carrying a prison sentence of up to 10 years), or in case of death, a 14-year prison sentence.

Drugs and Driving

Impairment, however, does not only mean the influence of alcohol. Drugs, legal and illegal, can also affect a driver's ability to react in a timely fashion to emergency situations and interfere with their perceptions.

Drugs that cause drowsiness, nausea, or blurred vision
can all have the same affect as alcohol
on a driver's natural abilities behind the wheel.

Don’t forget that the illness or injury that causes the need for drugs can impair to your driving as well.

For further information on impaired driving, see the MADD website:

http://www.madd.ca/

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