Did an impaired driver cause your accident?

On behalf of: admin | Posted in: Car Accidents on: Thursday, December 3, 2015

Most car accidents are traumatising, but when the cause is attributed to the impairment of the other driver due to drugs or alcohol, they can be especially infuriating.

While the focus of this post is on car accidents, it is important to note that impaired driving also includes operating snowmobiles, boats and off-road vehicles while being under the influence of intoxicating substances.

The Canadian Criminal Code provides for serious consequences for offenders, and the province of Ontario takes the lead to combat impaired driving with its implementation of some of North America’s strictest laws. Regardless, some drivers continue to flout those laws and drink and drive.

A single drink reduces the ability to react to sudden, unexpected events drivers encounter behind the wheel. Some of alcohol’s effects include double or blurry vision, diminished reflexes and distracted attention.

Alcohol affects behaviour and abilities once it is absorbed into the drinker’s bloodstream. It is measured by the concentration of alcohol in the blood and referred to as the blood alcohol content. There are many factors that affect one’s BAC:

— The drinker’s gender

— The drinker’s weight

— How rapidly the alcoholic drinks are consumed

— Whether the drinks were consumed on an empty stomach

In Ontario, as well as the other provinces, it is a criminal offence to drive with a BAC higher than .08 per cent. However, drivers who register in the range of .05 to .08 per cent, or the "warn range," face administrative penalties from the province.

Those who enjoy having a few drinks out can employ these tips to avoid becoming impaired and causing accidents.

— Have a sober (not simply less-buzzed) friend drive you home

— Be wary of the side effects from any over-the-counter or prescription medications you’re taking and the way they interact with alcohol

— Eat before drinking

— Have a glass of water or other non-alcoholic beverage between each beer, glass of wine or mixed drink

Those injured in crashes with impaired drivers may need to pursue civil litigation to be financially compensated for their losses.

Source: Ontario Ministry of Transportation, "Impaired Driving," accessed Dec. 03, 2015

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