Zero alcohol if under 21 in Ontario

Effective August 1, 2010 there is a zero alcohol tolerance for drivers in Ontario under the age of 21.

If you are caught with any alcohol in your blood then you will face a fine up to $500 and an immediate 24 hour license suspension. This move has been made to try and save lives. There is ample proof that drinking and driving leads to more car accidents resulting in injury and death.

The national rate for impaired driving offences increased last year by three percent. This is the third year in a row that we see the numbers going up. Some people are just not getting the message.

The statistics show that those people between the ages of 19 and 21 are more than one and a half times more likely to be in a car crash which is fatal and is tied to drinking and driving.

Some provinces, such as Alberta, have a zero tolerance policy for the graduated license driver (GDL). Once the driver has completed the probationary stage now they have a full license and the usual requirement of .08 applies. Since Alberta has an 18 year-old legal alcohol consumption age it is opening a door. Now the requirement is that the 18 year-old drink responsibly and we all know that sometimes this is a learned behavior.

It will be interesting to see if this move reduces fatal injury crashes linked to alcohol consumption. The restrictions in place in most provinces for hand held cell phone use including texting and driving are also being considered as part of the reduction in collisions and single car accidents.

Parents, teach your children well. If you lead by example then they have a clear path to follow.