When you think “driving over the legal limit” most people think that means driving over .08 (blood alcohol content). In March, SGI is shining its Traffic Safety Spotlight on what the real legal limits are for drinking and driving.
In Saskatchewan, experienced driver cannot legally drive with a blood alcohol content of .04 or higher. New drivers aren’t allowed any alcohol in their system at all, it’s zero tolerance. And for all drivers there is zero tolerance for drugs.
In a news release SGI President and CEO Penny McCune said, “Saskatchewan has some of the toughest administrative penalties for impaired driving in the country.”
In 2022, police issued 1,968 short-term license suspensions to drivers for exceeding provincial limits for alcohol or drugs. There is a financial cost to go along with the inconvenience of not having a driver’s license or a vehicle. Drivers must pay for the cost of the DWI program and registered owners are liable for the towing and storage fees for their impounded vehicle.
There are also lost insurance discounts or additional financial penalties that result from demerits with the Safe Driver Recognition program, depending on the driving record.
While the consequences vary based on several factors (driver’s experience, number of repeat offences, whether the driver was transporting passengers under the age of 16), a driver caught driving with a BAC between .04 and .08 — or with drugs in their system — will face:
-Immediate roadside license suspension (starting at three days for an experienced driver and 60 days for a new driver);
-Immediate vehicle impoundment, minimum of three days;
-Mandatory impaired driving education program (a weekend-long “Driving Without Impairment” [DWI] course for a first offence);
-Four Safe Driver Recognition demerit points; and,
-Mandatory Ignition Interlock for a third or subsequent offence.