Impaired Law and Legal Definition

The World Health Organization has defined impaired as any loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological or anatomical structure or function. There is no uniform definition applicable to the meaning of an impairment. Impairment may refer to loss of function in such areas as vision, hearing, motor skills, sensory skills, speech, and other areas.

Impaired driving means driving a car, truck, boat, snowmobile, aircraft, train or other motor vehicle when the ability to operate the motor vehicle is impaired by alcohol or drugs. In some jurisdictions, a person can be convicted of the criminal offense of impaired driving when there is proof beyond a reasonable doubt of the person's impairment. Evidence of impairment may include, among other signs, that the person was driving very slowly or too fast, was not driving in a straight line, could not manage simple physical tasks, had slurred speech or bloodshot eyes or had breath that smelled of alcohol. A person who is actually impaired by alcohol can be convicted of impaired driving, whether or not the person's blood alcohol content was over the "legal limit."