What You Need to Know About Impaired Driving Penalties

Graham Zoppi & Hillson

February 18, 2024
Impaired Driving in Toronto

Are you facing a DUI charge in Toronto, Ontario? If so, you could face serious consequences that can curtail your freedom and eat into your time and wallet. RGZ Law explains what you need to know about impaired driving penalties below. 

What Does Impaired Driving Mean?

Impaired driving refers to the act of operating motor vehicles while under the influence of a mind-altering substance — typically drugs or alcohol. An impaired driving conviction would impact your driving record and would result in a criminal record.

The Legal Limit for Various Substances

What are the legal limits of substances to stay within the law? 


If you are operating a motor vehicle, you need your blood alcohol content below 80 milligrams of alcohol for every 100 millilitres of blood. In other words, your BAC must be below .08. Any amount of alcohol above this reading will be grounds for the police to lay a charge. 


If you consume cannabis before driving a vehicle, the legal limit is five nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood.

Alcohol & Cannabis

If you combine alcohol and cannabis, your blood alcohol reading must stay below .05 BAC and less than 2.5 nanograms per millilitre of detectable THC in your system. 

Other drugs

Most common recreational drugs are subject to a zero-tolerance limit. Any detectable level of LSD, Psilocybin, Ketamine, Cocaine or Methamphetamine will support a charge of DUI.  

What Happens When Officers Suspect Impaired Driving?

If a police officer suspects you are impaired while driving, they may administer a series of field sobriety tests and/or analyze your breath with a roadside screening device. If you are brought back to the police station or are at a RIDE check, you may be required to provide a breath sample into a breathalyzer. In certain circumstances, police may collect a blood sample for analysis. 

Learn More About What You Need to Know About Impaired Driving From RGZ Law

Is there more you need to know about impaired driving penalties in Toronto, Ontario? Consult with RGZ Law about your case. Call 416-873-6970 to request a free consultation with our criminal defence lawyers.