Lower Legal Limits for Impaired Drivers May be On the Way

The House of Commons began hearings on February 23, 2009 to investigate whether the legal blood alcohol limit should be reduced to 0.05 rather than 0.08.  It is uncertain whether the current impaired driving laws would simply be amended by lowering the trigger for criminal charges or whether a new, lighter offence would be introduced.

Ontario already imposes a temporary suspension for drivers caught with 0.05 blood alcohol reading.  Beginning in May 2009, Ontario drivers caught between 0.05 and 0.08 will be stripped of their licenses for 3 days for a first instance, seven days for a second instance and 30 days on a their instance.

The changes are not without controversy.  Some feel that focusing on low end alcohol consumption takes the focus off the more dangerous drivers with high blood alcohol content.

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