Ontario impaired drivers are subject to harsh penalties, and it’s pretty well known that if you drink and drive in Ontario, you’ll end up with a driver’s license suspension, fines, and an ignition interlock for a period of time. With the recent change in impaired driving penalties, those same rules and penalties now apply to drugged drivers.
Thanks to new rules that just took effect, Ontario impaired drivers caught under the influence of drugs for the first time will immediately lose his or her driver’s license for three days. That’s the same penalty that Ontario impaired drivers who are under the influence of alcohol will receive.
Without a breathalyzer, how do police assess a drug-impaired driver? They’ve been trained to perform a series of roadside sobriety tests. If the driver fails, he or she will be sent to the police station and will be required to undergo more testing including blood pressure and body temperature checks. If the driver fails the roadside test and the second round of testing, he or she will lose their driver’s license for ninety days and have their vehicle impounded for seven days.
If the driver fails the roadside sobriety tests but passes the police stations sobriety tests, he or she will still have that immediate driver’s license suspension on their record.
Just like if you’re caught drunk driving over and over again, Ontario impaired drivers who are caught repeatedly drugged driving will lose their licenses for an even longer time. A second drugged driving offense will net them an immediate seven day suspension, while a third will see them suspended for thirty days.
It’s a huge leap forward in the fight against Ontario impaired drivers. During the past year impaired driving has been on a serious upswing in the province, and there’s no end in sight. Maybe the implementation of drugged impaired driving laws will be the push the province needs to curb all of their impaired drivers, whether they’re stoned or drunk.