If you are stopped by police and your Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) is 0.08 or higher, you will be charged with an offense under the Criminal Code. On conviction, you will be fined at least $1,000 and your license will be suspended for a minimum of 12 months.
You can also be charged if the police officer believes that you were in control of a motor vehicle while impaired. This definition covers driving after consuming drugs (prescription or street variety), as well as when a person is overtired. If you are in a state where your judgment and ability to operate the car has been compromised, you can be charged with impaired driving.
In the unfortunate event that you are involved in an accident while you are impaired, your insurance policy may not cover the damage to your vehicle. If you are injured in the accident, your medical expenses and rehabilitation costs may not be covered either.
The penalties for a criminal offense related to impaired driving are severe. A conviction for impaired driving causing bodily harm means you will be banned from driving for up to 10 years and up to 10 years in prison. If you kill someone while you are impaired, you could be banned from driving for life and be sentenced to life in prison.