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New penalties coming into effect for drug-impaired drivers in Ontario

New penalties for drug-impaired driving into effect Sunday.
New penalties for drug-impaired driving into effect Sunday. Mayya Assouad / File / Global News

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.

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READ MORE: Drug-impaired driving charges on the rise: Toronto police

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.