The Criminal Code (s. 249 - 261) states it is a criminal offence to operate a motor vehicle (whether in motion or not) while impaired, which includes driving with a blood alcohol content (BAC) exceeding 80 mg of alcohol in 100 ml of blood (0.08 BAC), or impairment by a drug. If police have reasonable grounds to believe a person is in the act of committing, or at any time within the preceding 3 hours has committed this offence, they may request the person submit a blood and/or breath sample. It is also an offence to fail or refuse to comply with the request without a reasonable excuse.
For criminal offences to become criminal convictions, under the Criminal Code, police need to lay charges and those charges need to be prosecuted through the court system. The consequences for convicted offenders are determined by judges and can include jail time, monetary penalties, driving prohibitions and/or restrictions.
Driving offences under the Criminal Code are:
- impaired driving regardless of BAC
- blood alcohol level over the legal limit (.08 BAC)
- blood alcohol level over the legal limit causing injury or death
- drug or drug-alcohol combination or a toxicological (blood or urine) sample
- impaired driving and impaired driving causing injury or death
- flight from police and flight causing injury or death
- failure to comply with a demand, for example refusing a breath test or Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST) and failure to comply with a demand causing injury or death
- dangerous driving and dangerous driving causing injury or death
- criminal negligence and criminal negligence causing injury or death
- leaving the scene of an accident and leaving the scene of an accident causing injury or death
- driving while suspended or disqualified
- criminal negligence by street racing and criminal negligence by street racing causing injury or death
- dangerous driving by street racing and dangerous driving by street racing causing injury or death
If you are found guilty in court under the Criminal Code for any of the above offences and your Criminal Code and provincial suspension lengths are outlined in the following table.
|Offence||Criminal Code Suspension Length||Provincial Suspension Length|
(within 10 years)
|Minimum 1 year||1 year|
(within 10 years)
|Minimum 2 years||3 years|
(within 10 years)
|Minimum 3 years||5 years|
- If you have no prior Criminal Code offences your driver's licence will be suspended for a minimum of 1 year federally and provincially for 1 year. These suspensions run at the same time;
- If you have a prior offence in the last 10 years, you will be suspended from holding an operator's licence for a minimum of 2 years federally from the date of the conviction and provincially for 3 years. These suspensions run at the same time;
- If you have 2 or more prior offences in the last 10 years, you will be suspended from holding an operator’s licence for a minimum of 3 years federally from the date of the conviction and provincially for 5 years. These suspensions run at the same time;
Some of the other consequences in Saskatchewan include:
- You'll receive a minimum $1,000 court fine (with no maximum) and effective Oct. 12, 2016, a minimum $1,000 penalty under the Safe Driver Recognition (SDR) program. For alcohol- or drug-related convictions it is a minimum $1,250 to a maximum of $2,500 - even if it's the 1st time you're convicted. This means you'll automatically move to -20 on the SDR scale and lose your vehicle registration discount.
- You will receive a 1-5 year driving suspension, which means you cannot drive any motorized vehicle in Canada.
- You could face jail time.
- You'll have a criminal record. This could prevent you from travelling outside of Canada.
- You'll have to pay for the education program. The Driving Without Impairment (DWI) course costs $170.
- User-pay mandatory igintion interlock.