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Vancouver Criminal Law Blog

4 myths about how to sober up quickly

If you and your friends stopped by a bar after work for a couple of drinks, you may have nursed two beers over the course of the evening. Then you may have eaten pretzels and drunk water. When it’s time to drive the few kilometres home, you may figure you’re fully functional. However, this assumption—if inaccurate—can be extremely costly.

Drunk driving laws in British Columbia are some of the strictest in the country. In many provinces, the maximum legal blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is 0.08. However, in British Columbia, you can face serious penalties if your BAC is just 0.05—and novice drivers can face penalties for having any trace of alcohol in their system.

Enforcing new cannabis driving laws will be challenging

After October 17, cannabis possession and use in limited forms will become legal. The federal government has established limits on the amount of cannabis an individual can use before being considered impaired. Police forces are still figuring out how to test cannabis users for impairment.

The federal government bases its limits on the amount of THC in an individual’s bloodstream. THC is the active ingredient that gets a person high and causes impairment. There are two new criminal offences:

You've been pulled over for impaired driving. What's next?

Though the blood-alcohol content (BAC) limit for driving under the influence of alcohol is 0.08 in Canada, British Columbia law enforcement may issue criminal charges or an Immediate Roadside Prohibition (IRP) against drivers with a BAC of 0.05 or higher.

If the police reasonably suspect that you are over the legal BAC limit while you are driving or while you have care or control of a vehicle in British Columbia, they may legally require that you take a breathalyzer test. This includes those who are in the driver's seat and have the ability to operate the vehicle, even if the vehicle is parked.