Zero Tolerance

Wondering how many drinks are safe before getting behind the wheel these days? It’s quite simple really: none. Especially if you live in Ontario.

As of May 1 this year, the province started ‘getting tough’ on drunk drivers. So tough, in fact, you no longer have to be drunk, or even tipsy, to lose your car and license on the spot. All it takes is a blood-alcohol level above .05 percent and you’re buggered.

My terminology, that; they call it a ‘warning.’

It’s a no-brainer for MPPs. Nobody’s going to rebuke you for taking a stand on walking a straight line. So Ontario’s new laws put the war in ‘warning range.’ Your car is immediately impounded and you lose your license for 3 days.

So how much is .05 percent?

Try this blood alcohol test. If you weigh 180 lbs, the chart says that after one drink, you’re still at Ontario’s .05% illegal zone after an hour. (A drink equals a half ounce of ethyl alcohol.)

That’s one drink after one hour! Goodbye keys and license.

Hello injury with insult. You pay for the towing and release-from-impounding fees; the fee for your new license, which is legally available to you in three business days; any subsequent increases in insurance; and the taxi fare from the spot where the police seized your car.

The license suspension is on your record for five years.

If you blow into the warning range again within six months, you’re an idiot. Oh yes – your license is also suspended for seven days, plus you have to attend drunk school before getting it back.

Next year, Ontario is set to introduce a law that will take the license from anyone under 21 with any alcohol at all in their veins. But they needn’t bother. Now one drink may already be too many.

The solution? Don’t even risk it. It’s become simple to figure out how much is too much: you can either operate your car or you can drink.

The upside? If you drive to your corporate holiday party, this year, there’s little chance you’ll make an ass of yourself.

Image courtesy of Mr. Jorgen.

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