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Keeping Drivers Safe

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Keeping Drivers Safe

McGuinty Government Implements New Drinking And Driving Measures

Ministry of Transportation

Ontario is making the province's roads safer for all Ontarians with new changes that will help protect young and novice drivers.

Starting August 1:

  • All drivers 21 years of age and younger must have a zero blood alcohol level when they get behind the wheel or face:
    • An immediate 24-hour licence suspension
    • 30-day licence suspension
    • Up to $500 in fines
  • Drivers in the Graduated Licensing System will face tougher penalties if they violate the conditions of their licence or if they are convicted of any Highway Traffic Act offences that carry four or more demerit points. Penalties include:
    • 30-day licence suspension for the first instance
    • 90-day licence suspension for a second instance
    • Further instances can lead to a cancellation of the licence and other penalties.

Also, effective August 3, eligible drivers convicted of an impaired driving offence for the first time, will be able to reduce their licence suspension if they agree to have an ignition interlock device installed in their vehicle, at their own cost. This will help impaired drivers change their behaviour to prevent them from becoming repeat offenders.

These changes are part of the Road Safety Act 2009 and 2007's Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act and will help keep drivers safe on Ontario roads.

Quick Facts

  • The peak ages of drinking and driving collisions are 19, 20 and 21.
  • In Ontario, 235 drivers age 21 and under were killed in drinking and driving collisions in the latest 10-year period for which statistics are available.
  • Crashes involving drivers suspended for a drinking and driving conviction are 3.4 times more likely to be fatal.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“We put the Road Safety Act in place to protect young drivers and everyone who shares the road with them. Our novice drivers deserve our help to prepare them for a lifetime of safe driving.”

Kathleen Wynne

Transportation Minister

“Ignition Interlock devices will make Ontario's roads safer by encouraging drivers who have offended to adopt more responsible behaviour and by reducing the number of impaired drivers on the road.”

Chris Bentley

Attorney General

“Extending the zero BAC requirement gives young drivers the chance to gain more driving experience without taking unnecessary risks. This will reduce impaired driving deaths and injuries among young drivers and promotes safe and responsible driving habits.”

Margaret Miller

MADD Canada National President

Media Contacts



Driving and Roads