Impaired driving has consequences
Every year, an average of 65 people are killed in BC where impairment by alcohol, drugs or medication* was a contributing factor. (Source: ICBC 5 year average 2016-2020)
The Criminal Code of Canada prohibits anyone from operating a motor vehicle while their ability is impaired by alcohol and/or a drug and/or if their blood/alcohol concentration is Over .08.
B.C. laws also prohibits operating a motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol and/or drugs. You can lose your driving privileges if your blood/alcohol concentration is ‘Over .05’.
If you are operating or have ‘care or control’ of a motor vehicle and have consumed alcohol, you are compelled by law to submit to a roadside sobriety test or a breath test. If the breath test results are ‘Over .05’ or you are deemed to be impaired by a qualified assessing officer, you will be prohibited from driving for 72 hours. If you provide a higher roadside breath-test result, you may be compelled to submit to further breath-testing or drug impairment testing.
Failing or refusing to submit to a breath-test or drug evaluation carries the same Criminal Code of Canada penalties as impaired driving. If you provide a breath-test that is ‘Over .08’ or refuse to provide a breath-test, you are subject to a 90 day Driving Prohibition regardless of whether or not you are subsequently charged or convicted of impaired driving.
Impaired driving is an arrestable offence. If arrested, you may find yourself in jail until you are sober, can be safely released to a responsible person, or taken in front of a judge.
In B.C. it is illegal to consume alcohol in a public place (other than a licensed premise) or in a vehicle. The legal drinking age in B.C. is 19 and it is illegal to provide alcohol to minors.
You can prevent impaired driving. If you plan to drink alcohol or consume drugs of any kind, plan alternative transportation in advance. Remember: The effects of alcohol and drugs that make you a dangerous driver also affect your ability to make good decisions.
- Impaired driving - Learn about the types, risks, laws and enforcement.
- Date modified: