How Much Can You Drink and Drive in Saskatchewan in 2023?

Drink and drive laws in Saskatchewan

The allowable blood alcohol content (BAC) limit for drivers in Saskatchewan is 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 ml (0.08% grams). However, driving with  40 milligrams of alcohol per 100 ml (0.04% grams) or higher will cause you to face charges.

This BAC limit is equivalent to drinking one to two bottles of beer, depending on your metabolism rate, gender, weight, and other factors. 

In 2014, there were over 1,100 crashes in Saskatchewan caused by alcohol or drug usage, causing 61 deaths and 541 injuries. As a result, the government decided to take action and tighten the penalty for impaired driving which took effect in 2017.

This article will go over everything you have to know about drinking and driving in Saskatchewan, including the consequences of driving while intoxicated.

Please bear in mind that the main focus of this article is to educate about impaired driving in Saskatchewan. The post does not advocate for a specific amount of drinking or drinking.

We are against driving while intoxicated. Even if you drink a few drinks and your BAC is within the legal limit, it is still best to take a cab, Uber, or other designated driving service for your safety.

Also, make it a habit to check Saskatchewan’s official website for any updates on drunk driving regulations.

Legal Alcohol Limit When Driving in Saskatchewan

While it is allowable in Saskatchewan and other Canadian provinces to have a few drinks and drive, it is still best to avoid drinking and driving entirely. 

The alcohol limit in Saskatchewan for drinking and driving is determined by the concentration of alcohol in your bloodstream.

This province’s allowable blood-alcohol amount is less than 80 mg or 0.08% concentration. Yet, you should be aware that you can still be punished if you drive with a 0.04% BAC level in your system. 

The amount of alcohol that enters the body varies depending on the amount of alcohol in your drink. Mixed drinks and the various variations of beer, wine, and hard liquor, each with a specific and different alcohol level, make understanding alcohol content much more complex. 

According to a study, accidents involving alcohol have decreased in regions with legal BAC levels lower than 0.08%.

Furthermore, you should be aware that alcohol affects each individual differently. Gender, age, and weight are some of the aspects that influence a person’s ability to hold alcohol.

Men and women have entirely different blood alcohol levels, with women having a higher BAC than men of the same age and weight.

Men are thought to have more enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase in their stomach and liver, which mainly helps them absorb alcohol faster.

The most accurate approach to establish how much alcohol is in your system is to use an alcohol breathalyzer. A BAC chart and BAC calculator can help you estimate your BAC level. However, it is still imprecise because different people react uniquely to alcohol.

Drink and Drive Punishment in Saskatchewan

You may face penalties if you drink and drive with over 0.04% BAC level in Saskatchewan. Going over the permissible blood alcohol content limit may result in punishments and an increased risk of car accidents.

Impaired drivers in all Canadian provinces are subject to two laws: Canada’s Criminal Code and Saskatchewan’s Highway Traffic Act (HTA).

You will face the following punishment if you do not obey the Saskatchewan government’s driving laws and regulations.

License Suspension

Police officers can suspend your license if they suspect you of drinking and:

  • You have a blood alcohol concentration of more than 0.04 percent.
  • You refuse to provide a sample of your breath.

Saskatchewan has particular laws for new drivers. If you have less than one year of driving experience and have any alcohol in your system, the following rules apply:

  • First offense: license suspension for 30 days and an obligatory Driving Without Impairment class.
  • Second offense: 90-day ban and drug testing

Vehicle Impoundment

One of the penalties for driving while exceeding the provincial or federal alcohol or drug limitations is vehicle impoundment.

Law enforcement will impound your vehicle on the side of the road under the following circumstances:

  • You are an experienced driver driving with a BAC of .04 to.08, or
  • a first-time or experienced driver with any detectable quantity of alcohol or drugs in your system.

If you have minors under 16 in your car upon committing the violation, law enforcement will confiscate your vehicle for a lengthier period.

Impaired Driving Education and Additional Programs

You are suspended for driving indefinitely until the Criminal Code charges are settled in court.

If you are found guilty, you will receive a letter stating which impaired driving education program you must complete.

To reinstate your license, you must complete the required classes or programs. You will also be paying for any cost required for the program.

There are three classifications of impaired driving education programs. You must complete the program depending on the number of impaired driving offenses you have:

Ignition Interlock

After you have completed your prohibition order, you may have to place an ignition interlock device on your vehicle before you’re allowed to drive again.

You must have the device installed for a specified period based on your offense. If you remove the device within that time, your license will be revoked. 

When Can You Drink and Drive in Saskatchewan?

As previously stated, everyone reacts differently to alcohol. While the information below is research-based, it does not mean everything applies to everyone.

Each person’s alcohol tolerance is different, and each individual reacts differently to alcohol. Therefore, it is still strongly advised to avoid drinking and driving.

How Many Beers Can You Consume and Drive in Saskatchewan?

Drink beer and drive in Saskatchewan

A standard serving of a beer is typically 350 ml (12 ounces) with 5% alcohol. Based on the BAC chart, a man weighing 54 kilos (120 pounds) who had one drink in an hour may have a BAC level of 0.03%. Therefore, drinking more than one glass or bottle of beer can risk you having more than 0.04% BAC.

How Many Glasses of Wine Could You Drink and Drive in Saskatchewan?

Drinking one glass of wine with 147 milliliters (5 ounces) can cause a man weighing 54 kilos (120 pounds) to have a BAC of 0.03%. To stay within the acceptable BAC limit in Saskatchewan, you should not have more than one glass of wine.

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

Using the same example, a male weighing 54 kilograms (120 pounds) can have a BAC of 0.03% after consuming 1.5 ounces of spirits with a 40% alcohol content. One shot of whiskey or vodka is sufficient to avoid the risk of exceeding Saskatchewan’s legal BAC limit.

Sticking to Saskatchewan Impaired Driving Regulations

There are many safe ways to travel to avoid drunk driving. If you have plans to drink, leave your car at home and take a cab instead. You can also use ride-hailing services or phone a buddy and ask for a favor to drive you home.

Although there is a legal limit for blood alcohol levels, it is still strongly advised to avoid driving when intoxicated. It will not only keep you safe but the other motorists as well.

If you must drive after consuming alcohol, ensure your BAC is within the legal limit based on the most recent legislation available on the official website of your state or province.

Even though there is a recommended number of drinks to stay within the allowable BAC limit listed above, it is still best to use a reliable breathalyzer to check your blood content accurately.

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.