Starting on Sunday, new penalties will come into effect for drivers convicted of drug-impaired driving in Ontario.
The following measures are being introduced by the provincial government:
- $180 fine
- Immediate three-day licence suspension for the first occurrence, seven days for the second occurrence, 30-day suspension for third and subsequence occurrences if driver fails sobriety test
- Possible 90-day licence suspension and seven-day vehicle impoundment depending on testing by drug recognition expert at police station
- Mandatory education or treatment programs
- Ignition interlock device installation on vehicles for drivers with two or more alcohol or drug-related licence suspensions within 10-year period
Drivers can already face impaired-related criminal charges which could result in jail time, loss of a driver’s licence and additional fines.
According to a government statement, the Office of the Chief Coroner reports 39 per cent of drivers who died on Ontario’s roads in 2013 had drugs, or a combination of drugs and alcohol, in their system.
The Ontario government estimated the 2013 social cost of drug-impaired driving collisions to be $612 million.
The penalties were a part of the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act, which was passed in 2015.