July 29, 2005

Impaired charges are not necessarily moving offenses

Toronto, Ontario – It is possible to be charged with impairment if you are just using your car as a convenient place to sit while talking and having a drink, even in your driveway, or at your cottage or campsite, according to a report from the Insurance Hotline.

The law determines that you are in “care or control” of a motor vehicle while drinking; this also applies to a boat when it is “underway”, and a snowmobile whether or not it’s in motion. If a police officer has “reasonable grounds” to believe you are violating the law, the officer can search your car or boat without a warrant.

An open bottle of liquor in your car can result in a fine of $180 under the Liquor License Act, which states that you cannot have readily-available liquor in your vehicle if the container seal has been broken.

If someone named on your insurance policy has been charged with impaired, your insurance company could cancel your policy, and your rates will increase, according to Insurance Hotline; as well, any collisions they have will be on your claims history.

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