Zero Tolerance for New Drivers When it Comes to Alcohol or Cannabis

Are you a Novice driver, a Learner or under the age of 22? Here’s some advice that will keep you from getting your licence suspended for 60 days and your vehicle impounded:

Don’t drink alcohol or take cannabis (or any other drugs) and then drive. Not even a little bit.

It’s something that’s taught in driver’s education, but the lesson was seemingly lost on the 982 new drivers who had their licence suspended last year for exceeding provincial limits on alcohol and drugs. New drivers make up just nine per cent of the licensed drivers in Saskatchewan, but accounted for 33 per cent of 2023’s impaired driving administrative suspensions.

“This isn’t about spoiling anyone’s good time; it’s about reminding all drivers, including new ones, that you’ve always got options to find a safe ride home,” said JP Cullen, Chief Operating Officer of the Auto Fund. “Choosing not to drive impaired will keep you safe and keep you out of trouble.”

A new driver is classified as anyone who is in the Graduated Driver Licensing program or is age 21 and under. Experienced drivers – people who are 22 years old or older and are no longer a Learner or Novice – cannot legally drive with a Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) above .04. All drivers are subject to the province’s zero tolerance laws for drug-impaired driving.

Police officers have access to roadside testing devices for both alcohol and drugs. A positive result on either means a new driver will lose their licence for at least 60 days, and the vehicle they were driving will be immediately impounded for three days. Administrative roadside suspensions also come with requirements to attend a mandatory impaired driver education course and four demerits under the Safe Driver Recognition program. Consequences increase for repeat offences.

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