Lower alcohol breathalyzer tolerance law passed, Bill C-376.
Posted by The Breathalyzer Team on 1/15/2010
to Canadian Law
So the Ontario provincial government has passed a new law changing the BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) level for impaired driving, so what does that mean?
To answer that question, first you have to understand what BAC is. Simply put, it's the amount of alcohol in your blood system. This is normally measured in milligrams. The current, and still lawful upper amount, is 80 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. You may have seen this written as 80 mg/100ml, but most of the time BAC is referred to as a percentage. The equivalent percentage of 80 mg/100ml is 0.08%. This percentage amount is what's commonly used when referring to " blowing over". Meaning your breath sample contains over 0.08% alcohol which is over the legal limit.
In 2009 new legislature was created adding new fines and charges for BAC levels less than 0.08%. This new level was set at 0.05% and was designed to act as a further deterrent for drinking and driving. This new law was brought into legislature as Bill C- 376.
Here is a summary of the changes and additions that Bill C-376 brought forth;
- If your breath sample is found to be over 0.05% then instead of criminal charge, your first offense would result in a ticket. There are variances in the amount of this ticket but most likely it will be $300 or more. In addition, you may have your license suspended for up to 45 days.
- The second offense will result in a ticket approximately double that of the first offense. Also, the suspension can be extended for up to 90 days.
- If you are found to be over the 0.05% limit three times within two years this may result in a criminal charge, a heavy fine and long-term driver's license suspension.
Although this is not a zero tolerance program it does well to limit the amount of alcohol consumed before driving. Any alcohol that is consumed before driving will impair your reflexes, judgment and your overall driving ability. However, obviously levels less than 0.05% will have less affect on your abilities than levels approaching the legal limit.
Every night thousands of Canadians drink and drive, that's a fact. Whether it's a glass of wine with dinner or a couple of beers after work, it makes no difference. The difference is, however, how alcohol affects you and what your BAC is. The only way to be sure is to use a breathalyzer. A properly calibrated, quality and maintained breathalyzer will provide you with accurate BAC readings and give you the information you need to make the right choice.
You can't tell if you are 0.03%, 0.04% or 0.05%. The only way to know is to test yourself. Why take the chance?
Get one of our alcohol breathalyzers, test yourself, and don't drive if you are over the legal limit.