Stopping Impaired Driving - Impaired Driving Laws
There are both federal and provincial/territorial laws against impaired driving.
The federal Criminal Code sets out impaired driving offences, enforcement procedures and penalties. These laws are based on the .08% BAC legal limit. Conviction under federal laws can result in fines, driving prohibitions and jail time. While the Criminal Code offences are established federally, enforcement, apprehension, prosecution and application of penalties fall within provincial and territorial authority.
The provinces and territories also have constitutional authority over highways and licensing of drivers within their jurisdictions, which gives them the ability to enact additional laws and sanctions. Most provinces and territories, for example, have licence suspensions at the .05% BAC level, .00% BAC requirements for young and novice drivers, alcohol ignition programs, vehicle impoundment measures and other programs.
MADD Canada has identified a number of legislative best practices – both federal and provincial – which we believe will significantly reduce impaired driving in Canada.
- For more on the legislative best practices we promote and support, please see our Public Policy Initiatives.
- For information on sentencing, please see our Sentencing for Impaired Driving paper.