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  • Jan16Wed

    New Laws for Ontario Drivers in 2019

    January 16, 2019 L.D. Dermody Insurance Team
    New laws for Ontario drivers
    New laws for Ontario drivers

    We have had a number of customers ask us about recent changes to the impaired and distracted driving laws in Ontario for this year so in response we have put together this short summary.    


    Impaired Driving 

    With the new impaired driving laws police officers can now demand a breathalyzer test from any driver.  In the past they had to have a reasonable suspicion of impaired driving before asking, but that’s not the case anymore.

    It’s also now against the law to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of over 80 mg within two hours before or after driving.

    Minimum and maximum penalties have increased.  First-time offenders with a BAC of 80 to 119 mg of alcohol per 100 mL of blood will be fined $1,000. Those with a BAC of 120 to 159 mg of alcohol per 100 mL of blood will face a new amount of $1,500. First offenders with a BAC of 160 mg or more will now pay a mandatory minimum fine of $2,000.  Additionally a first-time offender who refuses the breath test will also receive a $2,000 fine.  In all cases the vehicle can be immediately impounded for seven days and the licence suspended for 90 days.

    Zero tolerance for drivers under 22 years of age or any age with a G1, G2, M1 or M2 remains in place.  This also includes cannabis use.

    Distracted Driving 

    Distracted driving is now the leading cause of collisions in Ontario and will now cost drivers more: 

    • First offence:   $1,000 fine along with a 3-day licence suspension and three demerit points. 
    • Second offence:  $2,000 fine, 7-day licence suspension and six demerit points.
    • Third offence: Let’s face it you shouldn’t be driving, $3,000 fine, 30-day licence suspension and six demerit points.
    New drivers with a G1, G2, M1 or M2 face the same fines but higher suspensions:
    • First offence: 30-day licence suspension.
    • Second offence: 90-day licence suspension.
    • Third offence: Licence will be cancelled completely and the driver will have to completed the graduated driving program all over again.

    Distracting driving can be anything that causes a driver to be less focused while driving on the road, even while at a stop light.  It can include:

    • Holding an electronic device in your hand
    • Using a cellular phone to talk, text, check maps or switch playlists
    • Eating
    • Reading books or documents
    • Typing a destination into a GPS and even the built in GPS on the dash
    • Doing makeup


    The Rub:

    If you’re impaired from drinking or consuming drugs, don’t drive. 

    If you’re driving stay focused and don’t become distracted. 


L.D. Dermody Insurance Brokers (1982) Inc.