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Getting a CD out of your car?  Sleeping in the car?  Calling a tow truck?  Filling the gas tank while your driver is in the bathroom at the gas station?  All of these actions have been held to amount to being in Care or Control of your car. And, if you have been drinking, they will lead to an Ontario care and control charge, a criminal conviction, the loss of your licence, a fine or jail time, a requirement to have an Ignition Interlock device installed in your car, doubling or tripling of your insurance rates, a criminal record and much more.

Care or control of a motor vehicle is any action with regard to a vehicle that could put it in motion OR that could otherwise cause some danger to the public.  This includes immobile vehicles that might be in a location that are dangerous just by being there, for example, on the side of the road, but partly in a lane of traffic.  Actions by which there is some danger that you could put the vehicle in motion, such as the possibility of you accidentally knock the parking brake off or putting the vehicle in gear, are enough to ground a conviction.  It is very important that you take steps to ensure that there is no danger.

The easiest solution is to not go anywhere near your car if you have had even one drink.  However, that may not always be possible.  Remember that if you are in the location normally occupied by the driver (i.e., sitting or lying in the driver’s seat), you are presumed to be in care or control.  It is important that you never approach the driver’s seat if you have been drinking.  You should limit accessibility to your keys by keeping them out of the ignition or even leaving them inside the house if possible.  If you can accomplish what you need to do, in the back seat without going near the front seat, then do so.  If someone else is driving then let that person do everything with regards to the vehicle, including fueling or calling a tow.  If you can sleep outside of the car then you should. Sleeping in your car after drinking must be an absolute last resort for your survival, and even then only in the back seat, with the keys not available.

It is said that drinking and driving do not mix: That drinking and being anywhere near your car do not mix, would be more accurate. With precautions, you can avoid an Ontario care and control charge.