Research Papers

Implementing new consequences for lower Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) levels

Filename FINAL-PAPER-44.doc
Filesize 2 MB
Version 1
Date added June 10, 2012
Downloaded 4 times/fois
Category 2012 CMRSC XXII Banff
Tags Session 6A
Author/Auteur Anne Leonard


On May 1 2009 Ontario enacted legislation to amend the existing consequences for drivers with a Blood Alcohol Concentration from .05 to .08 (also known as the "warn range"). The legislation had been passed as part of a larger road safety package in 2007: Safer Roads for a Safer Ontario Act. The revised legislation meant longer suspensions for drivers, and escalating sanctions being applied for repeat occurences. As importantly, the occurrence would now be noted on a driver's record; in Ontario this can also result in significant increased insurance costs.

"Warn range" suspensions have existed in Ontario since 1981 as an immediate 12-hour unrecorded roadside suspension. The driver licence was held by police at the local station and the driver could return after the twelve hours had passed to collect it. As these suspensions hadn't been tracked, the total number of suspensions could only be estimated by police and government administrators and lawmakers. It was thought that as many as 40,000 to 50,000 drivers would be subject to the new consequences annually. Ontario is home to approx. 9,000,000 drivers meaning about .5% of drivers might be affected. By comparison, each year about 16,000 drivers are convicted of a criminal drinking and driving offence in Ontario.

To support the implementation of new Highway Traffic Act (HTA) legislation arrive alive DRIVE SOBER produced a number of specific materials and shared information and resources in a timely and tactical fashion.

Anne Leonard