Ontario government launches province-wide campaign to stop impaired driving
TORONTO, April 28 2009 – With nearly one quarter of all fatalities on Ontario’s roads involving impaired drivers, Ontario and Arrive Alive DRIVE SOBER® are stepping up the fight against impaired driving with the launch of the 21st annual Arrive Alive DRIVE SOBER campaign.
The six-month campaign will raise awareness of the many alternatives Ontarians have to driving after drinking.
The Ontario government has stiffened penalties for impaired drivers. As of May 1, 2009, a driver caught with a blood alcohol concentration from 0.05 to 0.08 (the “warn range”) will face longer driver’s licence suspensions and other sanctions, including:
- Three-day driver’s licence suspension for the first instance
- Seven-day suspension for the second instance and an alcohol education program
- 30-day suspension for the third and subsequent instances, the completion of a remedial alcohol treatment program and ignition interlock for six months.
“The fact is, even one drink can affect your driving – there is really no safe amount. Today we want to drive home the message that if you’ve been drinking, getting behind the wheel is never worth the risk. You have a choice: call a cab, stay overnight, find a designated driver or be one.”
– Transportation Minister Jim Bradley
“This year we are welcoming new tools in the fight against impaired driving – increased consequences for the existing warn range occurrence. The downward trend in impaired driving fatalities has seemed stalled in recent years – these new consequences will motivate all of us to plan a safe ride home, and drive sober.”
– Arrive Alive DRIVE SOBER president Brian Mitchell.
- You don’t need to have a 0.08 blood alcohol concentration to be impaired. Statistics show that drivers whose blood alcohol concentration is from 0.05 to 0.08 are about seven times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision than someone who has not been drinking.
- In 2005, one of every six fatally injured drinking drivers had a blood alcohol concentration of less than 0.08.
- The new escalating sanctions replace the current penalty for driving within the “warn range”, which is a 12-hour driver’s licence suspension.
The Arrive Alive DRIVE SOBER campaign features public service announcements and public education activities to prevent drinking and driving-related injuries and fatalities.
Learn more about drinking and driving law in Ontario.