Facts About Alcohol

  • Alcohol is the most commonly used drug
  • Alcohol is usually the first drug sampled by kids, usually in beer or wine
  • Drinking alcohol can be fatal
  • One out of every four teens who drink will get into some kind of trouble
  • The younger someone starts drinking, the more likely they are to drink more heavily, have stronger drinks, and develop a drinking problem later on in life
  • Over time, drinking can cause permanent liver, brain, and heart damage, cancer of many body organs, lower resistance to disease, and a number of emotional disorders 

Is Alcohol really a drug?

Alcohol is considered a drug because its main ingredient acts on the brain as a depressant, slowing down brain function, which is exactly what drugs do to your body. It can seem like a stimulant but that is only because people are loosing control of their inhibitions. As people lose their inhibitions they become more talkative and seem to have more energy.

The Law

The legal drinking age in Ontario is 19 years of age. No person can legally consume, purchase, or posses alcohol under the age of 19 or you will be charged under the Liquor Licence Act. No person can legally consume alcohol to the point of intoxication.

In Ontario, drivers with a blood alcohol level of .05 to .08 mg/ml will lose their licence for 12 hours, if your over .08 you will face criminal consequences. If you are a G1/G2 driver you will face greater consequences as the law for G1/G2 drivers is to have a 0 mg/ml alcohol level. A driver charged with drinking and driving, who is operating a vehicle with a blood alcohol level of over .08 or refusing a breath sample, will be suspended immediately from driving for 90 days and your vehicle may be impounded.

Minimum penalties for a first offence include a criminal record and a one year driving prohibitation. That's on the Federal level. The Provincial consequences involve a one year suspension of your licence, an assessment for alcohol use and Back on Track programs at a cost to you at $475.00, an ignition interlock device for one year at a cost to you at $1,300.00, and a licence reinstatement fee at a cost for you at $150.00. Additional costs involve a cost ranging from $2,000.00 to $10,000.00 for your own legal council to represent you in court and significantly increased insurance premiums that could exceed $5,000.00 annually for at least three years.

Overall, the minimum costs for a first-time offender is about $20,000.00.