How to avoid impaired driving in any situation

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It’s only natural to want to soak up as much as the summer warmth while it’s still here. That means spending time outdoors, on patios and hosting parties with your close friends. While it’s seemingly fitting to enjoy an alcoholic beverage while relaxing this summer – many people forget the implications and responsibilities that are associated with consuming alcoholic content.

There are simple steps you can take to avoid driving while you’re impaired by alcohol:

  • Make sure you have a plan to get home safely
  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist about side effects related to driving when using prescription medication
  • Read the information on the package of any prescription drugs or over-the-counter medicine, including allergy and cold remedies
  • Remember, fatigue and stress will also affect your ability to drive safely.

Impaired driving means operating a vehicle (including cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles and off-road vehicles) while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. It is a crime under the Criminal Code of Canada and the consequences are serious.

Understand the massive implications of these actions. You could:

  • Lose your license
  • Have your vehicle impounded
  • Need to pay an administrative monetary penalty
  • Need to attend an education or treatment program
  • Be fined upon conviction
  • Be required to install an ignition interlock device in your vehicle
  • Spend time in jail

Ontario is a leader in combating impaired driving through some of the toughest laws and programs in North America.

When Drinking Alcohol

  • Be responsible.
  • Choose a designated driver. Decide who’s going to be doing the driving before you go out, and make sure that person doesn’t drink any alcoholic beverages.
  • Call a taxi. Sometimes even the designated driver slips. If nobody in your group is sober, take alternate transportation.
  • Hide keys. Don’t be afraid to take someone’s car keys. If the person gets angry – it’s probably proof you’re doing the right thing.

When Throwing a Party

  • Offer non-alcoholic beverages. Water, juice, soda pop – give your guests plenty of alternatives. And never pressure guests to drink alcohol.
  • Serve plenty of food. A full stomach can slow the rate of alcohol absorption. Serve a great meal or have plenty of appetizers on hand.
  • Stop serving alcohol well before the party ends. Give your guests an extra hour or two without alcohol before they head out the door.
  • Arrange alternate transportation. Pay attention to your guests’ alcohol intake and behavior. If someone has had a lot to drink or seems even the slightest bit tipsy, call a cab or set up a ride with a sober driver.

While the hazards of drunk driving are all over the media, it has not prevented all drivers from driving while intoxicated. If you or a loved one has been the victim of a drunk driver, our lawyers can apply their experience to helping you obtain the compensation to which you are entitled.