Impaired Driving


Distracted driving



In Ontario, drivers with a Blood Alcohol Count (BAC) over .08 or who refuse to provide a breath sample will have their licence suspended immediately for 90 days. This is separate from any charges for a drinking and driving the driver may face. These drivers will also have the vehicle they are driving impounded for seven days. Impaired boaters face the same consequences as impaired drivers.

Minimum consequences for drivers convicted of impaired driving or over .08 BACor refusing to provide a breath sample are:

  • One-year driver licence suspension (reducible to three months under certain circumstances).
  • One-year ignition interlock condition upon reinstatement (up to three years for repeat offenders)
  • Back on Track program (alcohol assessment and education)
  • Minimum fine paid as part of federal consequences
  • Licence reinstatement fee
  • Increased insurance premiums ($5,000 annually for minimum three years)
  • Legal costs (if retained; paid to your own legal counsel)
  • Criminal Record
  • Repeat offenders face greater consequences and longer licence suspensions.

Drivers aged 21 and under must have a zero BAC when driving. Otherwise they face:

  • an immediate 24-hour licence suspension, or
  • a 30-day suspension and up to $500 in fines

*Information from the Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving (OCCID)

Drug Impaired Driving is still Impaired Driving.

Too often, people who drink or get high think they are okay to drive because they only feel "buzzed." But you don't have to be falling down drunk to be a danger behind the wheel. Driving while being buzzed by drugs or alcohol can lead to devastating consequences.

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), there are approximately 1,250 crash-related impaired deaths in Canada each year. This statistic illustrates the importance of working together. Collectively we can make a difference.

Ottawa Police continue to see impaired drivers in Ride ProgramOttawa and we are dedicated through enforcement and education to make our roads safer for everyone. The RIDE program (Reduced Impaired Driving Everywhere) is held several times a year.

Always arrange a safe way home and a backup plan in case you find yourself impaired or your designated driver has been drinking. Call a friend, a taxi, sleep over or take the bus home. Alternative options around the holiday season also include programs such as Operation Red Nose.

Ottawa residents are encouraged to contact 911 when they see someone they believe may be driving while impaired by alcohol or drugs. Together, we can help everyone arrive alive.


In 2014, Local Optimist Clubs teamed up with Ottawa Fire Services, Ottawa Paramedics and the Ottawa Police as well as the Safer Roads Ottawa Porgram, to simulate a collision scene in order to raise awareness on the dangers and consequences of driving impaired (by drugs or alcohol) as well as distracted driving. The followign graphic photos are from this simulation.

Photo Gallery: Collision will appear here on the public site.