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Ontario's New Drinking And Driving Law

Archived News Release

Ontario's New Drinking And Driving Law

Stiffer Sanctions For Impaired Drivers

Ministry of Transportation

Ontario has toughened its impaired driving laws to drive home the message that drinking and driving is not acceptable under any circumstance.

As of May 1, 2009, if you are found to have a blood alcohol concentration from 0.05 to 0.08 (the "warn range") while driving you will:

  • Have your driver's licence suspended for three days the first time you are caught
  • Have your driver's licence suspended for seven days and have to attend an alcohol education program the second time you are caught  
  • Have your driver's license suspended for 30 days, complete a remedial alcohol treatment program and have an ignition interlock condition placed on your driver's licence for six months.
Previously, drivers only received a 12-hour driver's licence suspension, no matter how many times they were caught.

Quick Facts

  • You don’t need to have a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration to be impaired. Statistics show that drivers whose blood alcohol concentration is from 0.05 to 0.08 are about seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than someone who has not been drinking.
  • In 2005, one of every six fatally injured drinking drivers had a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.08.

Additional Resources


Jim Bradley

“Even a small amount of alcohol can affect your driving. These tougher penalties show that we mean business when we say don’t drink and drive.”

Jim Bradley

Minister of Transportation

“In light of the recent discussion in the media about this change, it is important to note that drivers with a BAC between 0.05 and 0.08 have been subject to short-term suspensions since 1981; the new aspect is recorded, escalating sanctions. These increased consequences should motivate us all to aim for zero.”

Brian Mitchell

président, arrive alive DRIVE SOBER



Driving and Roads