Safe Summer Driving

Summertime is peak season for bbqs, backyard celebrations, cottage and camping weekends. Unfortunately, summer also brings a spike in impaired driving related charges on Ontario roads.

Impaired Driving Affects Us All

When a driver chooses to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, they put everyone’s lives at risk.

The OPP report that impaired driving is still the leading criminal cause of death in Canada. MADD Canada reports that over half of the deaths on Canada’s roads were due to the drug or alcohol impairment of a driver. For more information about impaired driving statistics, visit the MADD Canada website.

Steep Fines and Legal Consequences

The penalties for drinking and driving have evolved over the years to become much tougher. Even first-time offenders face suspensions, fines. Impaired driving is a criminal act and a conviction leads to a criminal record. For a first time offender, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation states the immediate penalties:

First offence

  • 3-day licence suspension
  • $250 penalty (begins January 2019)

Upon conviction, you can face jail time and the following additional penalties;

First offence

  • Licence suspension of at least 1 year
  • You must attend a mandatory education or treatment program
  • Requirement to use an ignition interlock device for at least 1 year
  • You will need to have a mandatory medical evaluation that could result in an extended licence suspension.

The fines and penalties for second and third time offenders are even greater. To learn more about the penalties for Impaired Driving, visit the MTO website.

With an impaired driving conviction on your driving record, you will also have a hard time obtaining car insurance. Your policy will likely be cancelled by your insurer. If you have an impaired driving conviction, contact our partners at Easyway Insurance. When you’re ready to get back on the road safely, Easyway can help get you the insurance you need.

Tips to Avoid Impaired Driving

If you plan to drive, don’t drink or use drugs. It’s that simple. Remember, even one drink can impact your ability to drive safely.

Have a safe and happy summer by avoiding impaired driving with these helpful tips:

  • Plan ahead
    • If you’re heading to a party or event where you will be consuming alcohol, don’t take your vehicle.
    • Plan an alternative means of travel or arrange to stay at a friend’s overnight.
    • Check with your doctor about the affects of any prescription drugs you may be taking. Even if you have been prescribed a drug such as Medical Marijuana, you are not permitted to drive while impaired.
  • Take Public Transit
    • Take transit, a taxi or an Uber to your event
  • Use a designated driver
    • Remember, the “least impaired” person in the room is not a designated driver.
    • Plan ahead to ensure someone will be the designated driver for the evening.

 

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