Tough New Penalties for Drug Impaired Driving in Ontario

Premier Kathleen Wynne announced new laws against drug-impaired driving yesterday, which introduces tough regulation and punishment for driving under the influence.

Steven Del Duca, Ontario’s minister of transportation has said that there will be zero tolerance for anyone 21 years old and under, new drivers and commercial drivers. All other drivers will have to stay under a limit which is still to be set.

Premier Wynne said road safety will be a priority once recreational weed is legalized in 2018, and said that Ontario will learn from the model implemented in California, Washington and Colorado.

“We had a goal to balance the new freedom that people in Ontario will have to use cannabis recreationally with everyone’s expectation that it will be managed responsibly,” said premier Wynne.

According to this Ontario press release, every time you are caught driving while high you will be issued a fine and a suspension of the driver’s license. So no more hotboxing on the road, OK?

Here is what the fines and suspensions are as of July 1st:

  • For a first offense, young drivers — and all G1, G2, M1, and M2 license holders — will face a three-day suspension and a $250 fine.
  • A second will result in a week-long suspension and a $350 fine with all subsequent occurrences penalized with a 30-day suspension and a $450 fine.
  • Commercial drivers will face three-day suspensions any time they are caught and fined up to $450.
  • All other drivers found to be within the blood-alcohol concentrate range of between .05 and .08 will face suspensions of between three and 30 days and fines of up to $450.
  • Those with blood-alcohol concentrate levels above .08 face a 90-day suspension and $550 fines.

The Ontario government is to sell recreation marijuana on 150 dedicated locations run by the province’s liquor control board and make 19 the legal age to buy recreational cannabis.

Source: CBC


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3 thoughts on “Tough New Penalties for Drug Impaired Driving in Ontario

  1. Excerpt from UK NHS:

    “A review of data compiled by the US National Drug Court Institute estimated that:
    an occasional or first-time user would probably test positive up to four days after last using
    a frequent user would probably test positive up to 10 days after last using
    a very heavy user could test positive up to one to two months after last using
    Long-term use of cannabis can make you depressed and make you less motivated.”

  2. It is important that per se laws specifying THC blood limits not be included in any cannabis-related legislation. The U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration acknowledges that THC blood levels do not predict impairment. Impairment testing is what is needed, and people should not drive if they are impaired.

    I have developed a new public health app that measures actual impairment–it is called DRUID (an acronym for “DRiving Under the Influence of Drugs”) available now in the Apple App Store (Android version coming soon). DRUID measures reaction time, decision making, hand-eye coordination, time estimation and balance, and then statistically integrates hundreds of data points into an overall impairment score. DRUID takes just 2 minutes.

    Our website is http://www.druidapp.com

    DRUID allows cannabis users (or others who drink alcohol, use prescription drugs, etc.) to self-assess their own level of impairment and (hopefully) decide against driving if they are impaired. Prior to DRUID, there was no way for an individual to accurately assess their own level of impairment. DRUID also demonstrates that it is feasible to measure impairment reliably by the roadside, not just exposure to a drug. It could also be a way for cannabis users who have developed tolerance to show they are unimpaired.

    Last week I met with and made a presentation about DRUID to Massachusetts Undersecretary for Law Enforcement, Jennifer Queally, and a group of top brass from the State Police. They are very interested in DRUID. The NHTSA is also discussing DRUID.

    DRUID was featured on NPR’s All Things Considered: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/25/511595978/can-sobriety-tests-weed-out-drivers-whove-smoked-too-much-weed

    Also on television: http://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2017/02/28/science-lags-behind-marijuana-impairment-testing/

    After obtaining my Ph.D. at Harvard, I have been a professor of psychology at UMass/Boston for the past 40 years, specializing in research methods, measurement and statistics.

    Michael Milburn, Professor
    Department of Psychology
    UMass/Boston

    • Interesting idea Michael, I hope it will help a lot of people avoid accidents when smoking/consuming cannabis. Thanks for sharing this with Greencampers. 😀

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