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Media advisory,
Upcoming Changes to Impaired Driving Laws

Broadcast time: 20:22
Friday, November 30, 2018

Traffic Services

Bill C-46 was introduced on July 21, 2018 and Part 2 of this new impaired driving legislation significantly reforms the entire Criminal Code dealing with transportation offences, including alcohol-impaired driving. It will come into effect on December 18, 2018.

There are two areas that are being highlighted in this media advisory:

1. Mandatory Alcohol Screening

Police officers who have an approved screening device on hand will be able to test a breath sample of any driver they lawfully stop, even without reasonable suspicion that the driver has alcohol in their body. This would be done after the person has been lawfully stopped pursuant to existing authority (common law or provincial Highway Traffic Act). A driver who refuses to provide a breath sample could be subject to a criminal offence with a mandatory minimum fine of $2,000.

Research suggests that up to 50% of drivers with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit are not detected at roadside check stops. Mandatory alcohol screening will assist in deterring individuals impaired by alcohol from driving, as well as better detect those who do. It is currently authorized in over 40 countries worldwide.

2. Increased Penalties for Impaired Driving

Part 2 of Bill C-46 brings in new and higher mandatory minimum fines, and some higher maximum penalties. The legislation increases the mandatory fines for first offenders with high blood alcohol concentrations:

- A first offender with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 80 to 119 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood is subject to the current mandatory fine of $1,000

- The mandatory minimum fine for a first offender with a BAC of 120 to 159 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood is raised to $1,500

- The mandatory minimum fine for a first offender with a BAC of 160 mg or over of alcohol per 100 ml of blood is raised to $2,000

- A first offender who refuses to comply with a lawful demand is subject to a $2,000 minimum fine

Additional information can be found online here, including a chart with penalties for drug-impaired driving.

Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada.

So far this year, The Toronto Police Service has charged over 900 people with an impaired driving offence. This number is intolerable.

We want to remind all of our communities and partners that if you suspect an impaired driver on our roads to call 9-1-1. So far this year over 7,000 people have done just that.

The Toronto Police Service is currently in the middle of the #HolidayRIDE Program.

Please plan ahead and commit to driving sober.

Additional information can be found online here.

For more news, visit

Sergeant Brett Moore, Traffic Services, for Acting Inspector Warren Wilson, Traffic Services