If you’re high and behind the wheel, you’ll face stiffer penalties if caught starting in October.
The province is improving the safety of Ontario roads by bringing in penalties for drug-impaired driving that match those already in place for drunk drivers.
Starting October 2, 2016, drivers under the influence of drugs will face the following penalties:
A $180 penalty
An immediate licence suspension of three days for the first occurrence, seven days for the second occurrence and 30 days for the third and subsequent occurrences upon failure of a roadside sobriety test
A possible 90-day licence suspension and a seven-day vehicle impoundment following further testing by a drug recognition expert at a police station
Mandatory education or treatment programs, and installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle, for drivers with two or more licence suspensions involving alcohol or drugs within a 10-year period
These new measures were introduced as part of the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act last year. In addition to these penalties, impaired driving can lead to criminal charges which could ultimately result in a loss of licence, additional fines and jail time.
Keeping our roads safe is part of the government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
According to the Office of the Chief Coroner, 39 per cent of drivers killed on Ontario’s roads in 2013 had either drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol in their system.
Drug-impaired driving collisions in Ontario had an estimated social cost of $612 million in 2013.
The Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act was passed on June 2, 2015. It also included tougher penalties for distracted driving and “dooring” cyclists, as well as new rules for school crossings and pedestrian crossovers.
(photo via driving.ca)