Ontario introduces fines, licence suspensions for drug-impaired driving

New legislation will mean harsher penalties, including licence suspensions, for motorists who drive while impaired by drugs.

A $180 fine awaits drivers impaired by drug use, and the same penalties drunk drivers face regarding losing their licenses will be enforced.

Starting next month, though, first-time offenders who are found under the influence of drugs could face a $180 fine and have their licence suspended immediately for up to three days.

Blundell said the testing involves evaluating clinical signs including blood pressure, temperature, and pulse as well as psychophysical testing that can take up to an hour at a police station.

At present, drivers impaired by drugs can face criminal charges but not automatic licence suspensions like drivers busted for being under the influence of alcohol.

Other penalties could include mandatory education or treatment programs or an ignition interlock.

Furthermore, drivers suspected of being high can expect the same sobriety test required of drunk drivers as well as an evaluation from a registered drug recognition officer.

Police say most of those charges are not marijuana-related; most cases are related to prescription drugs.

  • Arturo Norris