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Saskatchewan Drinking and Driving Laws 2023

Saskatchewan Drinking and Driving Laws Featured Image

Drinking and driving is a severe offence in Saskatchewan. There are strict laws for those who operate a vehicle over the legal limit. It causes severe consequences for both drivers and other individuals on the road. Whether a new or experienced driver, you must know Saskatchewan’s updated drinking and driving laws for 2023. But what is the alcohol limit for driving in Saskatchewan? What are the penalties and defences that could affect you?

In this guide, we will explore and discuss the updated laws and the penalties if you are charged with a drinking and driving offence. Now let’s get going and make sure everyone is driving safely.

Legal Alcohol Limit in Saskatchewan While Driving

The amount of alcohol in a person’s blood circulation is known as blood alcohol concentration (BAC). It is used as a metric to determine whether someone operates a vehicle while driving. The legal limit for BAC in Saskatchewan is 0.08%. It means if a driver has a BAC of 0.08 or higher, then the driver is charged with a drinking and driving offence. However, you can still be punished with a BAC level of 0.04%.

You should also be aware that every person’s reaction to alcohol is unique. Age, weight, and gender affect a person’s capacity to retain alcohol. Blood alcohol concentrations in men and women are entirely different, with women having a greater BAC than males of the same age and weight.

Using an alcohol breathalyzer is the most accurate way to determine how much alcohol is in your bloodstream. You can estimate your BAC level using a BAC chart and calculator. Yet, since every person’s response to alcohol differs, it is still imprecise.

Drinking and Driving Laws in Saskatchewan

In Saskatchewan, drinking and driving laws are taken very seriously. It poses a significant risk and may face penalties when the BAC level is 0.08% or more. 

If you break any driving rules or laws in Saskatchewan, you will be subject to the following penalties. There are two Saskatchewan impaired driving directions in all Canadian provinces: Saskatchewan’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA) and Canada’s Criminal Code.

Vehicle Impoundment

Vehicle impoundment is one of the consequences of driving above the provincial or federal alcohol or drug limits.

Under the following situations, law enforcement will impound your car by the side of the road:

  • You are a seasoned driver operating a vehicle with a BAC of.04 to.08
  • A first-time driver operating a vehicle with any measurable level of alcohol or drugs in your system.

Police would seize your vehicle longer if you were driving with minors under 16 during the offence.

License Suspension

If police suspect you of drinking while driving, they can suspend your license. Also, 

  • Your blood alcohol level is more than 0.04 percent.
  • You object to giving a breath sample.

In Saskatchewan, new drivers are subject to specific rules. The following guidelines apply if you have less than a year of driving experience and any alcohol in your system:

First offence: 30-day license suspension and obligatory driving without impairment.

Second offence: 90-day suspension and drug testing.

Impaired Driving Program

Unless the charges under the Criminal Code are resolved in court, your driving privileges are suspended. If you are found guilty, you will receive a letter outlining the impaired driving education course you must complete.

You must finish the relevant courses or programs to restore your license. Also, you are responsible for covering any program-related expenses. The impaired driving education program has three classifications depending on the number of impaired driving offences. These are: 

  • First Offence: Driving without impairment program (DWI)
  • Second Offence: Alcohol and Drug Education Program (ADE)
  • Third Offense: Assessment for addiction

Ignition Interlock Program

Before you can drive your car again, you must place an ignition interlock device on the vehicle. You can do it after completing the prohibition order. You must have the device inserted for a specific time, depending on your violation. Your licence will revoke if you remove the device within that period.

Defences and Legal Representation

Depending on the specifics of your case, you may be challenged by the legality of stop or arrest. The evidence acquired might not be admissible in court if the police did not have justifiable and probable grounds for the arrest. Examining the accuracy of the breathalyzer or blood test findings is an additional line of defence. The results might only be accurate if the testing apparatus is calibrated. 

In this case, legal representation makes a significant difference in the result of your case. Moreover, the lawyers can advise you on different actions to take and prepare you for the court appearance. They can also negotiate with the judge and make a plea bargain for a lesser sentence. 

Saskatchewan Impaired Driving Laws and Regulations

There are several safe modes to travel to avoid intoxicated driving. Leave your car at home and take a cab if you intend to drink. You may also call a friend and request a favour to transport you home or use ride-hailing services.

Even though there is a Saskatchewan blood alcohol limit, it is advised not to drive after drinking. It will safeguard both your and other drivers’ safety.

If you drive after drinking, make sure your blood alcohol content (BAC) is below the level set by the most recent legislation, which you can find on the official website of your state or province.

Although there is a suggested limit of alcoholic beverages to keep within the above-listed BAC guidelines. Utilizing a reputable breathalyzer to verify your blood content precisely is still better.

Conclusion

To sum up, Saskatchewan has strict rules and regulations to penalize intoxicated driving. These rules protect all drivers and pedestrians on the roadways. It also serves to punish individuals who choose to drive while intoxicated or beyond the legal limit responsible. 

We always make appropriate decisions when drinking, and getting help from familiar legal representation is crucial. We can all work together to make the roads safer by being aware of Saskatchewan’s rules and penalties. Do not drink and drive. 

FAQ

Is Saskatchewan zero tolerance for alcohol?

A zero-tolerance stance for minors while drinking and driving makes breaking the law throughout Saskatchewan difficult. So, the offenders consider the law to be extremely harsh.

Can passengers drink alcohol in a car in Saskatchewan?

There are different drinking regulations in Saskatchewan. While driving a boat or using public transit, you cannot consume alcohol. Of course, it is against the law to drive after drinking. On the other hand, you can sip on a train or plane. If you are driving and your passengers are drinking from open containers, you will be charged fines in addition to them.

What is the Legal Blood Alcohol Limit in Canada?

If alcohol impairs your driving or you register a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood or more within two hours of driving, you will charge with a crime. The penalties for driving with a BAC of 0.08 is severe and considered a criminal offence. 

How much is an open liquor ticket in Saskatchewan?

It is unacceptable for passengers to drink in the car’s back seat. The fine for open alcohol is $360. The driver is in charge of making sure everyone is acting appropriately, and the individual with the empty container will be the one who gets the ticket.

What is the penalty for drunk driving in Saskatchewan?

Regarding the minimum punishments, the penalty for drunk driving in Saskatchewan is the same—a fine of $1,000 for a first offence. Thirty days in jail and a fine are the punishments for a second offence. One hundred twenty days in prison are the punishment for a subsequent crime.

© 2022 Merv Nidesh, KC & Linh Pham.