In an effort to put an end to drugged driving, as of October 2, 2016, drug-impaired drivers face penalties matching those in place for drunk drivers.
Motorists stopped by police while under the influence of drugs now face a minimum $180 penalty and immediate license suspension. In additional, impaired motorists may face criminal charges.
Drivers who fail roadside sobriety tests face three-day license suspensions for first time occurrences, seven days for second occurrences, and thirty days for third and subsequent occurrences.
If motorists are taken to a police station for further testing (such as a urine test by a drug recognition expert), they can have their licenses suspended for ninety days, and their vehicles can be impounded for seven days.
Drivers with two or more license suspensions involving alcohol or drugs within a ten-year period, face mandatory education or treatment programs, and the installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle.
These new penalties are part of the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act. It is hoped that these new driving laws will discourage drug-impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel, and in turn, reduce motor vehicle collisions.