Ontario Community Council on Impaired Driving (OCCID) provides leadership and programs to eliminate impaired driving in Ontario and enables people and communities to share resources and information that will prevent injuries and save lives.
Despite important progress, impaired driving continues to be a serious problem in Canada with wide-ranging and tragic consequences for victims, their families and communities as a whole.
The Government of Canada, by strengthening impaired driving laws in 1999 and 2000, has taken clear decisive steps towards eliminating tragedies on highways and roads caused by impaired drivers. The governments commitment to ensuring that the criminal law fulfils its role, in combination with other measures aimed at eradicating impaired driving, has resulted in a combination of counter-measures that send the clear message that impaired driving will not be tolerated.
In 1998, the House of Commons directed the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to review the impaired driving provisions in the Criminal Code. The purpose of the Committees review was to propose amendments to the Code that would enhance deterrence and ensure that penalties reflect the seriousness of the offence.
On May 25, 1999, the Committee tabled its report, Toward Eliminating Impaired Driving. The government has since implemented all of the Committees ten recommendations for specific Criminal Code changes. It did so in Bill C-82 in 1999 and Bill C-18 in 2000.
Under the current strengthened law:
At the request of stakeholders the Minister of Justice, the Honourable Anne McLellan has asked the Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights to revisit the issue of whether it is advisable to amend the Criminal Code to lower the blood-alcohol level for criminal driving offences from 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (.08) to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood (.05)
The Minister has also asked a federal/provincial/territorial working group of justice officials to investigate the broader issue of drug impaired driving and also to look at ways of improving the Criminal Codes provisions regarding the enforcement and the prosecution of impaired driving offences.
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Department of Justice