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Tougher Penalties for Drug-Impaired Drivers Coming October 2

Archived News Release

Tougher Penalties for Drug-Impaired Drivers Coming October 2

Province Making Ontario Roads Safer

Ministry of Transportation

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.

Quick Facts

  • 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.

Additional Resources


“Whether it’s drugs or alcohol, impaired driving is never okay. Not only do you face tough penalties, but you risk your life and endanger everyone around you. It’s not worth the risk. If you’re not sober, don’t get behind the wheel.”

Steven Del Duca

Minister of Transportation

“These new penalties will help address drug-impaired driving, which is an increasing concern causing collisions, injuries and deaths on our roads. Arrive alive DRIVE SOBER supports these changes, and we will continue to promote awareness of drug-impaired driving.”

Tom Burmaster

President, arrive alive DRIVE SOBER

“Drugs and driving is a dangerous combination. These new sanctions ensure police enforcement agencies have the tools to remove drug impaired drivers from our roads. MADD Canada is pleased that Ontario continues to lead the way in the fight against impaired driving.”

Andrew Murie

Chief Executive Officer, MADD Canada

“The OPP’s Drug Recognition Evaluator (DRE) officers are highly trained to detect drivers who are impaired by drugs, as are frontline officers trained to conduct Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST). Through our DRE and SFST Programs, the OPP is as committed as ever to reducing the risk these drivers pose on Ontario roads.”

OPP Chief Superintendent Chuck Cox

Commander, Highway Safety Division

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