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New Measures for Drug-Impaired Driving

Backgrounder

New Measures for Drug-Impaired Driving

Ministry of Transportation

To help keep roads safe, Ontario is making drug-impaired driving laws even tougher. These tough new measures will be in addition to penalties for an impaired driving conviction under the Criminal Code of Canada. The new measures include:

Young and Novice Drivers

  • Zero tolerance rules prohibiting young (age 21 and under) and novice (G1, G2, M1, M2) drivers from having the presence of a drug in their system, as detected by a federally approved oral fluid screening device.
  • Aligning existing zero tolerance for alcohol sanctions for this group with zero-tolerance sanctions for drugs.
  • The zero-tolerance penalties for drugs or alcohol are:

Licence suspension

Monetary penalty

Other penalties

First occurrence

3 days

$250*

Other penalties, such as mandatory education or treatment programs, may also apply for repeat offenders.

Second occurrence

7 days

$350*

Third and subsequent occurrences

30 days

$450*

* Monetary penalties are expected to take effect by January 2019, and will be in addition to the existing $198 licence reinstatement fee. 

Commercial Drivers

  • Zero-tolerance rules prohibiting commercial drivers from having the presence of either alcohol and/or drugs in their system, as detected by a federally approved screening device.
  • The penalties are:

Licence suspension

Monetary penalty

Other penalties

First occurrence

3 days

$250*

Other penalties, such as mandatory education or treatment programs may also apply for repeat offenders

Second occurrence

3 days

$350*

Third and subsequent occurrences

3 days

$450*

* Monetary penalties are expected to take effect by January 2019, and will be in addition to the existing $198 licence reinstatement fee. 


All Drivers

  • Enhancing Ontario's existing penalties by introducing escalating monetary penalties that will apply to all impaired driving sanctions (alcohol and/or drugs).
  • Drivers found to be in the warn range (Blood Alcohol Concentration (BAC) between .05 and .08) or drug-impaired drivers who fail a roadside Standardized Field Sobriety Test will face:

Licence suspension

Monetary penalty

Other penalties

First occurrence

3 days*

$250**

Mandatory education or treatment programs, and an

ignition interlock requirement*

Second occurrence

7 days*

$350**

Third and subsequent occurrences

30 days*

$450**

*Current sanctions that will not change  

** Monetary penalties are expected to take effect by January 2019, and will be in addition to the existing $198 licence reinstatement fee. 

  • Alcohol-impaired drivers (BAC above 0.08), drug-impaired drivers (as determined by an evaluation from a Drug Recognition Expert) and any drivers who fail or refuse to submit to tests under the Criminal Code will face:

Licence suspension

Monetary penalty

Other penalties

First occurrence

90 days*

$550**

Mandatory education or treatment programs, and an

ignition interlock requirement*

Second occurrence

90 days*

$550**

Third and subsequent occurrences

90 days*

$550**

*Current sanctions that will not change

** Monetary penalties are expected to take effect by January 2019, and will be in addition to the existing $198 licence reinstatement fee. 


NOTE: Unlike a fine, which is imposed once a driver has pled guilty or been convicted, monetary penalties are provincial administrative sanctions applied at the time of the offence. 

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