How Much Can You Drink and Drive in Nunavut in 2023

Drink and drive laws in Nunavut

In Nunavut, you can drive after drinking as long as your blood alcohol content (BAC) limit is below .05% grams (50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood). Depending on your age, gender, size, and other characteristics, this BAC limit is approximately equivalent to two to three alcoholic drinks.

Impaired driving rates were much higher in the territories than in the provinces. Despite this, Nunavut had the lowest rate among the territories in 2019.

The Nunavut government strictly enforces impaired driving laws to lessen accidents related to drinking and driving. They also educate their citizens about the effects of alcohol and impaired driving. 

Before we go through the details of impaired driving in Nunavut, please keep in mind that the purpose of this article is primarily informative. This post does not encourage or support drinking and driving.

Even though you are allowed to drive as long as you are within the legal BAC, it is still best to avoid driving if you are under the influence of alcohol.

We recommend taking a cab or hiring a designated driver if you must travel after drinking. It is also vital to stay current on impaired driving regulations. Thus, it is important to visit Nunavut’s official website.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Nunavut

Varying regions of Canada have different provincial impaired driving rules and BAC limits.

The Government of Nunavut imposes administrative penalties on drivers whose blood alcohol concentration (BAC) is .05% grams and above.

According to BAC penalties research, alcohol-related accidents have decreased in regions with 0.05 BAC limits.

Consuming alcohol has different effects on each person. Your BAC may vary depending on several factors, including:

  • gender
  • size
  • an empty stomach
  • medications
  • fatigue
  • consumption rate

Determining your driving capacity is crucial regardless of how much you drink. Even a tiny trace amount of alcohol might cause intoxication in some individuals. Thus, always use a reliable alcohol breathalyzer to check your blood alcohol levels.

Punishments for Drinking and Driving in Nunavut

Nunavut recorded 1,779 impaired driving incidents per 100,000 population in 2019.

While Nunavut has been active in promoting alcohol awareness, the number of impaired driving incidents is still high.

The Nunavut government imposes charges and penalties for drivers with a BAC level of 0.05%.

A comprehensive study revealed that a BAC of 0.05% causes severe impairment and repercussions for driving ability. Alcohol usually affects several skill domains, including attention, perception, psychomotor skills, and responsiveness.

The likelihood of dying in an accident increases if the driver has consumed alcohol.

Even after tight restrictions are enforced, impaired driving remains Canada’s leading criminal cause of death and injury.

Knowing the impaired driving penalties in Nunavut can help you understand and comply with the law.

Territorial Penalties

Police officers in Nunavut can issue 24-hour administrative license suspensions or disqualifications to a driver if they have reasonable grounds to suspect their driving ability is impaired because of drugs or alcohol in their body.

Drivers who fail or refuse to conduct a Standardized Field Sobriety Test or an evaluation may also receive an administrative driver’s license suspension or disqualification.

There is no alcohol tolerance in Nunavut for the following drivers:

  • new drivers,
  • drivers under the age of 22, as well as
  • commercial vehicle drivers.

According to the Motor Vehicles Act, drivers under the age of 22 and novice drivers will face a 30-day administrative license suspension.

Drivers of certain commercial vehicles will face a three-day administrative suspension or disqualification. This rule is not applicable if the commercial driver is a novice or under the age of 22.

Drivers with a blood alcohol content of more than.05% may also face a 24-hour administrative license suspension. If the driver has a history of suspensions, disqualifications, or restrictions, this penalty could be extended to 30 days.

Drivers with a blood alcohol percentage of more than.08% may also face a 90-day administrative license suspension or disqualification.

The following are the minimum punishments for driving with a blood alcohol level of more than 0.08%:

  • First offense: a $1,000 fine and a 12-month driving suspension
  • Second offense: a 30-day jail sentence and a 24-month driving suspension¬†
  • Third and subsequent offenses: a 120-day jail sentence and a 36-month driving suspension

Federal Penalties

Driving a vehicle when intoxicated by drugs, alcohol, or a mix of both is a criminal offense under the Criminal Code.

Operating a motor vehicle while exceeding a prohibited blood drug or alcohol content is also a criminal offense.

Criminal Code penalties may include fines, a driving ban, and imprisonment.

When Can You Drink and Drive in Nunavut?

As previously stated, the effects of alcohol differ from one person to another. Each person’s tolerance to alcohol varies, and so do our bodies reactions to alcohol.

Men and women have different blood alcohol levels, with women having a higher BAC than men of the same age and weight. You can see the differences when entering data in BAC calulator.

The information provided below is based on research. However, it may not apply to everyone.

How Many Beers Can You Consume and Drive in Nunavut?

Drink beer and drive in Nunavut

Based on the BAC chart, drinking one bottle of beer (350 ml/12oz) in an hour will get you a BAC level between 0.02% to 0.05%.

Drinking two to three beers will likely increase your BAC beyond the legal limit, depending on your gender, weight, and other factors such as stress levels.

How Much Wine Can You Drink in Nunavut?

One glass (142 ml/5 oz.) of wine may contain up to 12% alcohol. After consuming two glasses of wine in an hour, a person can have a BAC level between 0.04% to 0.10%, depending on their gender, weight, and other drinking factors.

Thus, to be on the safe side, it is best to consume one glass of wine to stay within Nunavut’s legal BAC limit.

How Many Shots of Vodka or Whiskey Can You Drink and Drive in Nunavut?

Similar to the examples above, only one shot of whiskey or vodka is advisable to drink to stay within the legal BAC limit.

Drinking 40 ml (1.25 oz) of vodka or whiskey may cause an individual to have a BAC level between 0.02% to 0.05%. Drinking more than one shot risks going beyond the permissible blood alcohol content in Nunavut.

Obeying Impaired Driving Laws in Nunavut

There are numerous options for safe transportation after drinking alcohol. You can get a ride from a friend, grab a cab, or take a taxi.

If you must drive after drinking, be sure your BAC level is below the legal limit according to the updated laws and regulations on Nunavut’s official website. Additionally, always use a breathalyzer to monitor your blood alcohol content accurately.

Even if you have only had a few drinks, it is still better to avoid driving. You may be confident that your BAC is still within the legal limit, but it is better to take precautionary measures. 

About the author

Ashley Cresswell

Ashley Cresswell is a former phlebotomist with a passion for road safety. During her time as a phlebotomist, Ashley administered over 1000 blood alcohol tests to impaired drivers and was shocked to discover that many of them were simply uninformed about the legal limits for driving under the influence. As a result, Ashley conducted extensive research on scientific studies and local laws to bring drivers a comprehensive resource on drink and drive limits from around the world.