Impaired driving, which means driving while your ability is affected by alcohol or drugs, is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada. If convicted, you can lose your licence, be fined, or spend time in jail. Your vehicle does not even have to be moving; you can be charged if you are impaired behind the wheel, even if you have not started to drive.
Drinking and Driving
Drinking and driving is a deadly combination. One drink can reduce your ability to concentrate and react to things that happen suddenly while you are driving. The more alcohol in your blood, the more difficulty you have judging distances and reacting to sudden hazards on the road. To make matters even worse, your vision may become blurred.
Drugs and Driving
Any drug that changes your mood, or the way you see and feel, will affect the way you drive. This is not only true for illegal drugs. There are prescription drugs and some over-the-counter drugs that can also impair your driving ability.
Tips to remember
- If you are planning on drinking, plan not to drive.
- Ask your doctor about side effects if you use prescription medication or get allergy shots.
- Read the information on the package of any over-the-counter medicine, including allergy and cold remedies.
- Drugs and alcohol together can combine to impair your driving even more drastically; ask your doctor or pharmacist.
Remember, fatigue and stress will also affect your ability to drive.