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Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Drinking and Driving Laws Are Tougher – Be Prepared

Did you know that approximately 16,000 people are convicted of driving with a blood-alcohol level above the legal limit in Ontario each year? That’s almost two people every hour!

Recent changes to Ontario’s Highway Traffic Act mean you could now face a three-day suspension – even for your first offence – if you operate a motor vehicle with a blood alcohol level of .05 to .08 or more. Previously, the penalty was a 12-hour suspension for a first offence. If you are caught a second time, your license may be suspended for seven days, and you will be required to undergo a remedial measures course.

From an insurance perspective, any suspension is now recorded on your driving record. After the first offence, you could face significantly higher insurance premiums. It is extremely important to note that while your license is suspended, you are uninsurable.

About one quarter of all Ontario collisions with fatalities involve drinking drivers. Drinking and driving hurts us all – through deaths, injuries and personal tragedies, in addition to costs for health care, emergency response and property damage.

Did you know? In Ontario, the legal limit for blood-alcohol is .08 milligrams per 100 milliliters of blood.

Watch the video for more details:

If you host an event or party where alcohol is served, you have a legal responsibility to ensure your guests do not drive after drinking. And, if your event requires a liquor permit, your liability exposure is greatly increased. The line between host liability and liquor legal liability can sometimes be unclear.

Your insurance broker can give you advice and options to consider to reduce your liquor liability exposure.

If you are planning to host an even or party where liquor is being served, here are some tips to reduce your liquor liability exposure:
•Hire a licensed and insured vendor to serve the alcohol
•Serve drinks rather than having a self-service bar. This way you can monitor consumption.
•Serve food, as adequate amounts of food slow down the effects of alcohol
•Offer plenty of non-alcoholic drinks
•Hold the event early in the day to discourage excessive drinking
•Provide a taxi or alternative forms of transportation for guests who have imbibed.

From all of us here at F.E. Coyne Insurance Brokers please be Safe this Holiday Season, Don’t Drink and Drive.

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