Impaired driving isn’t just about drinking and driving
May 23 2017, Marie-Andrée Boisvert
For several years, dozens of public awareness campaigns have been produced to reduce impaired driving. Now, all generations are well aware that driving while alcohol-impaired isn’t only dangerous, but is very severely punished.
In Quebec, the Highway Safety Code and Criminal Code apply to drivers, motorcycle drivers and truck drivers. Here are some aspects of the law about which we know less …
Alcohol, fatigue, drugs and medication, and impaired driving
In the eyes of the law, alcohol, fatigue, drugs and medication can all be considered impaired driving.
In the case of impaired driving, the Criminal Code applies in all provinces of Canada. It determines the rules and penalties related to impaired driving (prison, fines, driving prohibitions, etc.).
What the Criminal Code says
- "Every person who operates a motor vehicle... or has the care of or control of a motor vehicle ... whether moving or not, commits an offence in the following cases:
- When their ability to drive that vehicle ... is impaired by the effect of alcohol or a drug;
- When they have consumed a quantity of alcohol such that their blood-alcohol level exceeds eighty milligrams of alcohol per hundred millilitres of blood.
It is understood that in this the case the ability to drive is impaired by the combined effect of alcohol, drugs, fatigue or medication.”
For example, the mixture of alcohol and cannabis multiplies the risk of an accident. The same relates to fatigue and taking medication.
Planning for greater enjoyment
What’s best in all cases is to plan your car trips: arrange for a sleepover at a friend’s place after an evening birthday party or simply take a taxi. Late at night, $50 can practically take you all around the island of Montreal.
Even if you’re a reasonable person in terms of consumption, driving tired is not responsible. In addition, few evenings end at your usual bedtime.
In the event of an unexpected party, contact a friend; they may be a little surprised at the time, but proud to have a responsible friend!