MADD Canada

April 01, 2015 13:30 ET

MADD Canada Welcomes Arrival of .00% BAC Requirement for New and Young Drivers

OAKVILLE, ON--(Marketwired - April 01, 2015) - A new regulation, taking effect today, to extend the zero alcohol requirement for new and young drivers will help reduce impaired driving and improve road safety, says MADD Canada.

Previously, drivers were required to maintain a .00% blood alcohol content (BAC) while enrolled in the province's graduated licencing program. As of today, that .00% BAC requirement extends for two years beyond completion of the graduated licencing program.

"Extending the 00% BAC requirement is an important and effective way to reduce alcohol-related crashes, deaths and injuries among new and young drivers," said MADD Canada Chief Executive Officer Andrew Murie. "We thank Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Geoff MacLellan for his leadership in implementing this measure, and his commitment to improving road safety. We also thank former MADD Canada National President and current MLA for Hants East Margaret Miller for her contributions to this legislation and her ongoing efforts to reduce impaired driving."

Young drivers are over-represented in all categories of road crashes, including those involving impaired driving. Nearly all provinces and territories have a .00% BAC restriction for young and novice drivers, but it is usually lifted when the driver completes the graduated licencing program. That usually occurs around the age of 18 or 19, which corresponds to the legal drinking age in most jurisdictions and is a time when alcohol and binge drinking increase.

A second legislative amendment coming into effect today will provide certain individuals who have life-time driving bans with a chance to regain their licence under strict conditions. After fulfilling at least 10 years of the driving ban, individuals who meet stringent criteria may be able to regain their driving privileges by agreeing to have an alcohol ignition interlock on their vehicles for a minimum of five years. The interlock prevents a car from starting if the driver's breath indicates his or her BAC is over a pre-set limit. Drivers are also subject to rolling re-tests when the vehicle is in operation.

MADD Canada fully supports the use of life-time driving bans for chronic repeat offenders, but also recognizes that there may be instances where a driver has changed his or her behaviour appropriately, and may have certain circumstances that might warrant consideration of a second chance at licensure. Many banned drivers often continue to drive anyway and when they do, they are outside the insurance system. Having an option for certain drivers to regain their licence with the use of an interlock ensures that person will drive without the risk of impairment and will operate within the driver's licencing and insurance systems.

Contact Information

  • For more information: 

    Andrew Murie
    MADD Canada
    Chief Executive Officer
    1-800-665-6233, ext. 224
    Susan MacAskill
    MADD Canada
    Atlantic Region Chapter Services Manager