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Under section 320.14(1) of the Criminal Code, impaired driving, also known as "driving under the influence" (DUI) or "drunk driving," involves operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs to the extent that it impairs the driver’s ability to do so safely. This offence does not require a specific blood alcohol concentration (BAC) level. Rather, it focuses on impaired driving skills. Police officers can charge individuals with impaired driving based on their observations and sobriety tests.
Impaired driving is a serious criminal offence in Canada and the penalties can be severe. Penalties include fines, mandatory education programs, a criminal record, and even imprisonment, depending on the severity of the offence and whether it is a repeat offence.
Additionally, offenders may have their driver's license suspended and could be required to install an ignition interlock device in their vehicle after serving their suspension period. An ignition interlock device measures a person’s BAC level before allowing their vehicle to start. If you blow into the device and receive a reading higher than the programmed limit, your vehicle will not start.