Drinking and Driving penalties

The Manitoba government introduced legislation in November 2018 to create stronger and immediate consequences for drivers who have been drinking. Tough new measures will take effect Dec. 16, 2019.

Now just a blood alcohol content of .05 to .079 at a roadside screening device, breathalyzer or blood test can result in some very severe and expensive punishment:

• vehicle impoundment for three, seven or 30 days for first, second, or third and subsequent violations (new); 

• monetary penalty of $400 for a first violation, $500 for a second, or $600 for a third or subsequent violation (new); 

• ignition interlock use is mandatory on the third or subsequent violation which will cost you between $372 to $464, plus tax. There are additional charges for servicing (new); 

• driver’s licence suspension of three days on the first violation, escalating up to 60 days (existing); 

• referral to an Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) $625 remedial program if there have been two or more violations within 10 years (existing); and 

• $50 driver’s licence reinstatement fee (existing). 

• • •

Blood alcohol content at or over 0.08 or refusal of a roadside screening test, will result in for first-time offenses not involving bodily harm, death or other significant aggravating circumstances: 

• monetary penalty of $700 (new); 

• mandatory use of an ignition interlock for one year (new) which will cost you between $372 to $464, plus tax ; 

• immediate three-month roadside driver’s licence suspension (existing); 

• vehicle impoundment for 30 or 60 days, for a fail or refusal respectively (existing); 

• referral to an AFM assessment or $625 remedial program (existing) which you have to pay whether you are convicted or not; and 

• $50 driver’s licence reinstatement fee (existing). 

• • •

The cost can run into the thousands if you hire a lawyer to contest any of these penalties. And you no longer get your licence back while you appeal a suspension even if it is just for a speeding offence.