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New drug and driving laws increase penalties in Ontario

October 02, 2016, Kitchener, Ontario

Posted by: Robert Deutschmann, Personal Injury Lawyer

Don't Do Drugs and Drive.  Fines Increased in Ontario

In a bid to try and combat the growing problem of drivers operating their vehicles while under the influence of drugs, the Ontario government has increased the fines and penalties.  The Toronto Police for example have dealt with more than twice the number of drug impaired drivers as compared to the year before.

 Effective October 2, 2016, new laws have been brought in Ontario to stiffen the penalties if you are caught driving while impaired by drugs.  The minimum penalty will be a fine of $180.00 and suspension of your driver’s licence.  Criminal charges could also be laid, similar to drunk driving.  Sentences could be as high as five years.

The police will administer a road-side sobriety test.  If you fail that then you face a 3 day suspension of your licence for the first occurrence.  For a second occurrence it would be a 7 day suspension and for a third occurrence the suspension is 30 days.

If a motorist is taken to the police station for further evaluation by a drug recognition expert, which includes a urine test, then your licence can be suspended for 90 days and your motor vehicle impounded for 7 days.  The assessment would also determine the category of drug and alcohol consumed by the driver.

Mothers Against Drunk Driving have been pushing for a separate category of drug-impaired driving in the Criminal Code dealing with setting the legal limits for the tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) in marijuana.  THC is the active ingredient in marijuana.

All this comes about as the federal government continues its consultations on legalization of marijuana which will likely result in an increase in drug-impaired incidents of driving.

If you are convicted of impaired driving the penalties for a conviction are:

First time:

 •Mandatory alcohol education or treatment program

•1 year minimum requirement to drive a car equipped with an ignition interlock device

•No minimum jail sentence

•$1,000 fine

•Licence suspended for 1 year

 

Second time

 •Mandatory alcohol education or treatment program

•3 year minimum requirement to drive a car equipped with an ignition interlock device

•30-day minimum jail sentence

•Fine amount at the discretion of the judge

•Licence suspended for 3 years

 

Third and subsequent times

 •Mandatory alcohol education or treatment program

•Lifetime minimum requirement to drive a car equipped with an ignition interlock device

•120-day minimum jail sentence

•Fine amount at the discretion of the judge

•Lifetime licence suspension (can be reduced to 10 years if certain conditions are met)

Posted under Drunk Driving Accidents, Personal Injury

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Deutschmann Law serves South-Western Ontario with offices in Kitchener-Waterloo, Cambridge, Woodstock, Brantford, Stratford and Ayr. The law practice of Robert Deutschmann focuses almost exclusively in personal injury and disability insurance matters. For more information, please visit www.deutschmannlaw.com or call us toll-free at 1-866-414-4878.

The opinions expressed here, while intended to provide useful information, should not be interpreted as legal recommendations or advice.

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