Severe penalties for impaired drivers.
It’s a message Jessica Mahon echoes regularly. As a Team Leader, Special Projects at MTO, she says it’s important to understand that the penalties for driving impaired by alcohol also apply to driving impaired by cannabis and other drugs. An impaired driver faces immediate penalties at the roadside and additional consequences if convicted in court.
“The Highway Traffic Act states that if a driver is impaired by drugs or a combination of drugs and alcohol, they will see an immediate licence suspension, mandatory remedial education/treatment and ignition interlock requirements for repeat occurrences and, in some cases, a vehicle impoundment” says Mahon, who adds that these drivers are also subject to a licence reinstatement fee and come January 1, 2019, additional escalating administrative monetary penalties. “Impaired driving is dangerous and unacceptable – the penalties are severe”.
Three new Criminal Code charges were introduced too. It’s now a summary conviction offence to be found with between two but less than five nanograms (ng) of THC per millilitre (ml) of blood and drivers face a maximum penalty of $1,000, explains Sgt. Brett Moore of Toronto Police, Traffic Services. If you’re found with five ng or more of THC (or any detectable drug), you’ll face a mandatory minimum of $1,000 for the first offence. A second offence will bring a minimum of 30 days in jail, while third and subsequent offences can lead to 120 days imprisonment. Moreover, if you have 2.5 ng of THC and 50 mg of alcohol, you’ll face a mandatory minimum fine of $1000.