Federal Justice Minister seeks new blood alcohol limits

Published: August 8, 2017

Updated: July 24, 2018

Author: Luke Jones



Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould wants to lower the legal alcohol limit for licensed drivers and is considering a change to legislation. The proposal was discovered in a letter sent to Quebec politician Stephanie Vallee.

The May 23 correspondence shows that Wilson-Raybould would reduce the limit to 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. The current limit is set at 80 milligrams. The reason for the change would “make it easier to fight the danger posed by drivers who have consumed alcohol.”

The federal politician argues the current rules were created when research suggested the risk of a collision was twice as likely with 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood in the system.

“More recent research indicates the initial data underestimated that risk,” she wrote.

Wilson-Raybould says newer studies show auto accidents are twice as likely at 50 milligrams and nearly three times as likely at 80 milligrams.

The letter was sent to Vallee to see her thoughts on the proposed legislation.