Toronto

Drug-impaired drivers to face tougher penalties in Ontario starting Oct. 2

The Ontario government announced they will introduce tougher penalties for drivers under the influence of drugs, which match the same fines already in place for drunk drivers.

The new penalties will match those already in place for drunk drivers

The Ontario government announced Wednesday they are introducing tougher penalties for drivers under the influence of drugs starting Oct. 2. (David Donnelly/CBC)

The Ontario government announced Wednesday they are introducing tougher penalties for drivers under the influence of drugs — that match the fines already in place for drunk drivers. 

Starting Oct. 2, drivers under the influence of drugs will face the following penalties: 

  • A $180 fine.
  • 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 vehicles for drivers with two or more licence suspensions involving alcohol or drugs within a 10-year period.

Toronto police announced last week that the number of drug-related impaired-driving offences this year has increased more than threefold compared to this time in 2015.

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

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