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Impaired Driving



Drinking and Driving

DON'T CROSS THE LINE...



Manitoba's Tough Stance on Drinking and Driving -

What Does it Mean to You?

 

Drinking and Driving is a Crime
Immediate Consequences under The Highway Traffic Act
Criminal Charges and Consequences upon Conviction
Other Considerations
NEWS RELEASE - December 13, 2012


Drinking and Driving is a Crime.

Drinking and driving is dangerous and it's a crime. Manitoba takes a tough stand against drinking and driving any kind of vehicle, on or off the road.

Protect the safety of your family, friends and neighbours. Be road wise - make the right choice - don't drink and drive!

Note - Fees and charges referred to below are subject to change.

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Immediate Consequences under The Highway Traffic Act:

If you are operating or have care and control of a motor vehicle, boat, aircraft or railway equipment and you are stopped by the police, your motor vehicle driver's licence can be suspended immediately if:

  • You register a “warn” or a “fail” on a breath screening device;
  • You have a blood alcohol concentration equal to or over .05;
  • You fail a physical coordination test.  Trained officers have the authority to administer a series of physical coordination tests to assess whether a driver is impaired by alcohol or drugs; or
  • The officer believes that you are too impaired to perform a physical coordination test or to comply with a demand to supply a breath or blood sample.

If the officer believes that you are too impaired to perform a physical coordination test or to comply with a demand to supply a breath or blood sample:

  • Your motor vehicle driver’s licence will be immediately suspended for 24 hours.

If you register a “warn” on a breath screening device, are found to have a blood alcohol concentration of between .05 and .08 or fail a physical coordination test you will receive an immediate Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension:

  • If it is your first time, your suspension will be for 24 hours;
  • A second occurrence within 10 years, results in a 15-day driverís licence suspension;
  • A third occurrence within 10 years, results in a 30-day driverís licence suspension; and
  • Four or more occurrences within 10 years results in a 60-day driverís licence suspension.

If you fail a physical coordination test or register a “fail” on a breath screening device:

  • You can also be asked to take a breathalyser, which could lead to a three-month licence suspension and vehicle impoundment if you refuse or fail the breathalyser test.

Your motor vehicle driver's licence can be immediately suspended for 3 months if you:

  • Refuse to provide a breath or blood sample;
  • Refuse to participate in a physical coordination test;
  • Fail to follow the officer's instructions regarding the physical coordination test; or
  • Register a blood alcohol concentration over .08.

When your driver’s licence is suspended:

  • You are disqualified from driving any type of vehicle on or off the road for the duration of the suspension;
  • Your car may be removed by the officer and stored at your expense;
  • You are subject to a $50 licence reinstatement charge;
  • If you receive a 3-month suspension, two or more Tiered Administrative Driverís Licence Suspensions or a Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension and have one or more prior 3-month suspensions in a ten-year period, you will be required to attend a mandatory impaired driver's assessment at your own expense. The assessment is conducted by the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM), and the cost is $625.

If you are operating or have care and control of a motor vehicle and you are stopped by the police, your motor vehicle can be impounded at your expense:

  • If your blood alcohol concentration is over .08, your vehicle will be impounded for at least 30 days. You may be subject to longer vehicle impoundment for higher blood alcohol levels and subsequent offences;
  • If you refuse to provide a breath or blood sample, refuse to participate in a physical coordination test or fail to follow the officer's instructions regarding this test, your vehicle will be impounded for at least 60 days.

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Criminal Charges and Consequences upon Conviction

In addition to the immediate consequences listed above for impaired driving, you can also be charged with criminal offences such as:

  • Driving while Impaired by Drugs or Alcohol
  • Driving with a Blood Alcohol Concentration over .08
  • Refusing to Provide a Breath or Blood Sample to Police upon Request
  • Impaired Driving Causing Bodily Harm or Death

Persons convicted of drive impaired, drive with a blood alcohol concentration over .08 or refuse breath/blood sample may receive the following penalties:

  • A minimum fine of $1000 for a first conviction.
  • A mandatory minimum jail sentence of 30 days for a second conviction or 120 days for subsequent convictions.
  • A minimum one year driving prohibition for a first conviction, a minimum 2 year driving prohibition for a second conviction and a minimum 3 year driving prohibition for subsequent convictions.

Manitobans convicted of one the above Criminal Code charges face the following suspensions under The Highway Traffic Act:

  • Drive Impaired or Drive Over .08 - 1 year suspension for first conviction, 5 year suspension for second conviction, 10 year suspension for third conviction and lifetime suspension for four or more convictions within 10 years.
  • Refusal to Provide Breath or Blood Sample - 2 year suspension for first conviction, 7 year suspension for second conviction,10 year suspension for third conviction and lifetime suspension for four or more convictions within 10 years.
  • Impaired Driving Cause Bodily Harm or Death - 5 year suspension for first conviction, 10 year suspension for second conviction and a lifetime suspension for three convictions or more within 10 years.

Vehicle forfeiture is another consequence that impaired drivers of motor vehicles in Manitoba may face:

  • First-time offenders where death or bodily harm results from a crime involving a vehicle, including impaired driving causing bodily harm or death; manslaughter; criminal negligence causing bodily harm or death; dangerous operation of a vehicle causing bodily harm or death; and flight from police causing bodily harm or death.
  • Offenders convicted of three Criminal Code driving offences within five years. The offences include: drive while impaired; driving with a blood alcohol level over. 08; refusing to supply a breath or blood sample; driving while disqualified; dangerous operation of a vehicle; flight from police and failure to stop at an accident.
  • Upon conviction, the vehicle is forfeited and becomes the property of the province.

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Other Considerations:

  • Manitobaís tough laws on driving while impaired apply to persons who operate or have care and control of all motor vehicles as well as to situations where a person operates or has care and control of a vessel, an aircraft or railway equipment while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Motor vehicles include implements of husbandry, special mobile machines, tractors and off-road vehicles.

  • Under the Graduated Licensing Program in Manitoba, there is a zero blood alcohol content mandated for a minimum of the first five years of driving. Novice drivers who violate the zero blood alcohol concentration restriction may:
    • Receive at minimum an immediate 24-hour roadside suspension.
    • Be required to attend a Show Cause Hearing with Driver Improvement and Control to determine further sanctions.
    • Be required to pay a driver’s licence reinstatement charge of $50.
  • All sanctions and Criminal Code penalties related to drinking and driving or impaired driving apply to all types of off-road vehicles. Off-road vehicles are any vehicles designed or adapted for cross-country travel on land, water, ice, snow, marsh or other natural terrain. Examples include snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles, dirt bikes and construction or farm implements.

  • All convicted offenders of impaired driving are subject to a mandatory licence condition requiring them to use an ignition interlock device ranging from 1 year to lifetime after the expiration of the mandatory suspension under the Highway Traffic Act. Impaired drivers who have conditional licences are also required to use an ignition interlock device. The device requires a breath sample from the driver and prevents the vehicle from being operated if alcohol is detected. Persons who drive without an ignition interlock device during the time that they are required to do so may be charged with driving while disqualified, which, upon conviction, may result in a fine of up to $5,000, a jail sentence of up to one year or both a fine and jail sentence.

  • Towing costs, storage costs and a provincial impoundment fee must be paid by vehicle owners before their vehicles can be released. The approximate cost is $450 for a 30-day impoundment and $900 for a 90-day impoundment. Registered owners who were not driving when the vehicle was impounded may apply to have the vehicle released. Costs must still be paid before the vehicle is released.

  • If your driver's licence is suspended you may have to:

    • Pay a driver's licence reinstatement charge of $50.

    • Undergo an assessment of your alcohol/drug use at a cost of $625. The assessment is conducted by the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM).

    • Complete driver exams or a driving course, at a cost ranging from $40 to $170.

    • Pay more for your Autopac and driver’s licence premiums if your Driver Safety Rating goes down.  Further information can be found on the Manitoba Public Insurance website at www.mpi.mb.ca.

  • Some driver's licence suspensions may be appealed to the Licence Suspension Appeal Board. For further information, contact the Board at (204) 945-7350 or 1-800-282-8069 toll-free from rural Manitoba.

  • For further information regarding the impaired driver assessment, contact AFM  at 204-944-6290 or 1-866-638-2561 (ask for the Impaired Drivers Program) or visit their website at www.afm.mb.ca.

  • For further information about driver’s licence suspensions, contact Manitoba Public Insurance:

In Winnipeg: 204-985-7000
Outside Winnipeg, Toll-free: 1-800-665-2410
Deaf Access TTY/TDD: 204-985-8832

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