Saskatchewan Driver's Handbook


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Google Translate is a third-party tool, and is not owned or administered by SGI. SGI is not responsible for any errors or omissions as a result of the translation. In case of a difference in interpretation between the translated version and the laws and regulations governing Saskatchewan drivers and vehicles, the laws and regulations prevail.

The Criminal Code of Canada

Certain driving behaviours are dealt with more severely or are considered to be sufficiently dangerous or objectionable to be dealt with under the Criminal Code. A conviction for one of these offences can lead to severe penalties, including a fine with no maximum and a jail term of up to life.

Under provincial legislation, you will also face a statutory licence suspension and be required to complete licence reinstatement conditions, including mandatory addictions assessment and completion of the prescribed education or recovery program, for certain offences.

Drinking and driving

It is an offence to drive or to have control of a motor vehicle when you have over 80 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood (80 mg% or .08). A breath sample or a blood sample may be taken to provide this evidence. If your blood alcohol content (BAC) is over .08, you have committed a Criminal Code offence. If you are convicted, you will have a criminal record.

The minimum fine is $1,000 with no maximum fine and up to five years in jail. In addition, the court must issue an order prohibiting you from operating a motor vehicle for a period ranging from one to three years for your first offence.

Impaired driving

Driving any motorized vehicle or vessel while your ability is impaired by drugs, alcohol or both is an offence. This includes impairment from alcohol and illegal, prescription or over-thecounter drugs.

Penalties for impaired driving are the same as those for driving with a BAC over .08. If you are charged and convicted of impaired driving causing bodily harm or death, the penalty can be up to life in jail and the court may issue an order prohibiting you from operating a motor vehicle for a period of up to 10 years.

Saskatchewan has a zero drug and alcohol tolerance (0 BAC) for drivers that are:

  • age 21 and under
  • in the Graduated Driver Licencing (GDL) program
  • in the Motorcycle Graduated Driver Licencing program (MGDL) while operating a motorcycle

The cost in human terms can be very high. People are severely injured or killed as a result of impaired driving.

Care and control

A person may be charged with being impaired or having a BAC over .08 even if he or she is not driving at the time, but is deemed to have care or control of a motor vehicle. This means that a person who is in a vehicle and has the ability to set the vehicle in motion, whether there is any intent to do so, may be charged. The penalty is the same as that for impaired driving or exceeding .08 BAC.

Failing to comply with a demand

If a police officer suspects that you have consumed alcohol, he may demand that you provide a breath sample for analysis by an approved screening device.

If a police officer believes you are over .08 BAC, but you cannot provide a breath sample, the officer may demand that you permit a sample of your blood to be taken for analysis. If you are not capable of understanding the demand for a blood sample, the police may require a blood sample to be taken without your consent.

Refusing to comply with a demand made by a police officer is an offence. The penalty is the same as for .16 BAC and over.

Driving while disqualified

If you drive while disqualified, you are guilty of an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2,000 and a jail term of up to two years.

In addition, if you drive while suspended, disqualified or without a valid driver's licence following a suspension, or with a prior conviction for no valid licence, the vehicle you are driving at the time will be seized and impounded for 30 days. The second occurrence for a driver in a two-year period will result in a 60-day vehicle impoundment.

Criminal negligence

Driving with reckless disregard for life and safety is an offence. If you are charged and convicted of criminal negligence causing bodily harm, the penalty can be up to 10 years in jail and the court may issue an order prohibiting you from operating a motor vehicle for a period of up to 10 years. In addition, the vehicle you are driving at the time will be seized and impounded for 30 days. If you are charged and convicted of criminal negligence causing death, the penalty can be life in jail.

Dangerous driving

Failing to exercise reasonable care in the operation of a motor vehicle is an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2,000 and five years in jail. If you are charged and convicted of dangerous driving causing bodily harm, the penalty can be up to 10 years in jail and the court may issue an order prohibiting you from operating a motor vehicle for a period of up to 10 years. In addition, the vehicle you are driving at the time will be seized and impounded for 30 days. If you are charged and convicted of dangerous driving causing death, the penalty can be up to 14 years in jail.

Failure to stop at scene of collision

If you are involved in a collision with a person, vehicle or cattle in the charge of a person, you must give your name, address, driver's licence number and insurance information to any other involved people and assist any injured people.

All collisions involving injuries, death, hit and run, an impaired driver, an out-of-province vehicle or where a vehicle must be towed from the scene must be immediately reported to police. If you leave the scene of a crash, you are guilty of an offence. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2,000 and two years in jail and the court may issue an order prohibiting you from operating a motor vehicle for a period of up to three years. In addition, the vehicle you are driving at the time will be seized and impounded for 30 days.

Licence disqualifications

If you are convicted of any of the offences discussed in this section, your licence will be automatically cancelled and you will be disqualified from driving. The period of disqualification will be based on the number of these convictions you have had in the last 10 years.

  • One conviction - 1 year
  • Two convictions - 3 years
  • Three convictions - 5 years
  • Four or more convictions - 5 years, with no early reinstatement

In addition to these automatic disqualifications, the court may issue an order prohibiting you from operating a motor vehicle on any street, road, highway or other public place anywhere in Canada for a period of time. You will not be allowed issue of a driver's licence until the expiration of the longer period, whether it is the automatic disqualification or the court order.

Reinstatement of driving privileges

Early reinstatement of driving privileges before you get your full licence back can be in the form of a special driver's licence such as:

  • Ignition interlock special restricted driver's licence
  • Special restricted driver's licence
  • These options are issued on the provision that you do not drink and drive.

Ignition interlock special restricted driver's licence

An ignition interlock special restricted driver's licence allows you to operate only vehicles equipped with an ignition interlock device.

The ignition interlock is a device connected to a vehicle's ignition that checks for the presence of alcohol in the driver. The driver must blow into the machine to start the car and continue to periodically blow into the device to keep the car in motion. If the device senses alcohol, the car will not start or will turn itself off.

The ignition interlock special restricted licence is mandatory for the following:

  • Your conviction was for impaired driving, driving while over .08 blood alcohol content (BAC) or fail to comply with a demand.
  • You received a third roadside suspension within the last five years. (Note: If you received your first two roadside licence suspensions as a new driver, those count towards the number of offences as an experienced driver.)

The ignition interlock special restricted licence is voluntary for the following:

  • You received a second roadside licence suspension as a new driver within the last five years.

You are eligible for an ignition interlock device if:

  • You have completed the required education program.
  • Your conviction is alcohol/drug related (e.g., administrative roadside licence suspension, Criminal Code suspension for exceeding .08, impaired, fail to comply with demand).
  • You have completed the mandatory suspension term prior to installing the device.
  • You have purchased the reinstatement fee receipt from your local motor licence issuer.

The device must remain in the vehicle until the ignition interlock suspension period ends. You cannot wait out your suspension period.

Eligibility and program duration

Drivers qualify for an ignition interlock device providing they successfully complete the mandatory programming, serve the required suspension, and complete their education requirements.

OffenceVoluntary or
Mandatory
Program
Suspension Prior to
Installing Ignition
Interlock Device
Ignition Interlock
Term1
New Driver
Immediate Roadside Licence Suspension
(2nd Offence within 5 years)
Voluntary Program60 days120 days
New Driver
Immediate Roadside Licence Suspension
(3rd Offence within 5 years)
Mandatory Program1 year1 year
Experienced Driver
Immediate Roadside Licence Suspension
(3rd Offence within 5 years)
Mandatory Program90 days1 year
Criminal Code Conviction
(.08 - .159 BAC or impaired)
(1st Offence within 10 years)
Mandatory Program3 months21 year
Criminal Code Conviction
(.16 BAC or greater or refusal)
(1st Offence within 10 years)
Mandatory Program3 months22 years
Criminal Code Conviction
(.08 - .159 BAC or impaired)
(2nd Offence within 10 years)
Mandatory Program6 months23 years
Criminal Code Conviction
(.16 BAC or greater or refusal)
(2nd Offence within 10 years)
Mandatory Program6 months25 years
Criminal Code Conviction
(.08 - .159 BAC or impaired)
(3rd Offence within 10 years)
Mandatory Program12 months210 years
Criminal Code Conviction
(.16 BAC or greater or refusal)
(3rd Offence within 10 years)
Mandatory Program12 months210 years

More information on the Ignition Interlock Program can be found here or you can contact SGI Driver Programs at 1-844-TLK-2SGI (1-844-855-2744) ext. 6892.

Special restricted driver's licence

A restricted driver's licence limits when and where you can drive. You may be granted the licence if you demonstrate that:

  • the licence suspension would cause you exceptional hardship
  • allowing for a restricted licence would not be contrary to public interest

You're eligible to apply to the Highway Traffic Board for a special restricted licence if the following applies to you:

  • Your conviction is non-alcohol/drug related and you have served the entire court-ordered prohibition period and completed the required educational program.
  • Your conviction is alcohol/drug related and you have completed the required educational program and your mandatory ignition interlock term, and still must serve the provincial suspension.

If you were convicted before June 27, 2014, your restricted driving privileges expire once you've completed half of your provincial suspension. At that time, you're eligible for a provisional licence.

If you are convicted after June 27, 2014, you will not be eligible for a provisional driver’s licence and must keep the restricted licence until you are eligible for a full driver’s licence.

Provisional licence

A provisional licence grants you full driving privileges, with zero tolerance for alcohol and drugs, until the end of your original provincial suspension. This type of driver's licence only applies to drivers who were convicted before June 27, 2014.

As long as no other suspensions exist, you're eligible for a provisional licence if you have:

  • served the entire court-ordered prohibition period
  • served half of your provincial licence suspension
  • completed the required educational program

Full driving privileges are reinstated after the provisional driver's licence period or after the expiration of the suspension period and completion of the required educational program.

Footnotes

  1. Ignition interlock term does not include the suspension prior to installing the ignition interlock device. You must have the device installed for the total ignition interlock terms in order to have your driving privileges reinstated. The start date of your ignition interlock term is the day you install the device.
  2. For Criminal Code convictions you must serve the court-ordered or provincial requirement period before an ignition interlock device can be installed, whichever is greater. The judge can increase this period on the court order.
    The Criminal Code requirement is:
    1st offence - 3 months
    2nd offence - 6 months
    3rd offence - 12 months

Disclaimer

Rev: 2017