Drinking and driving now can come with a lifetime suspension

Policeman checking woman driver for alcohol intoxication

Ontario is set to introduce new legislation that will include ignition interlock devices, a lifetime driving ban, and other measures for those convicted of impaired driving on the province’s roads. The Ford government announced the new measures today, as part of a wide-ranging drive to crack down on licence suspensions, stunt driving, and auto theft. The new legislation will include a “lifetime driving ban” for those charged with impaired driving causing death, as well as an “immediate” ignition interlock device and mandatory training for those charged with a first-time impaired driving offence.

The government said that 1 in 3 deaths on Ontario roads are attributed to impaired driving. According to a 2022 study, 1 in 5 drivers stopped were impaired by alcohol, drugs, or both. The government said its proposed legislation will also “enhance immediate roadside licence suspensions” for first-time, second-time, and third-time alcohol and/or drug-related offences, and clarify the rules that allow police to stop a vehicle for a sobriety test.

The proposed new impaired driving legislation comes at a time when the Ford government is set to table a new bill that will also include new rules on the suspension of licences for those convicted of auto theft. Minister Sarkaria said on Tuesday that those convicted of car theft with an aggravating circumstance such as violence could face an escalating suspension of their licence. “If someone is convicted three times, they could face a lifetime driving ban,” Sarkaria said. The bill is set to be introduced on Thursday.

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