Drug and Alcohol Impaired Driving
What is Impaired Driving?
- Impaired driving means operating a motor vehicle while your ability to do so has been impaired (even slight impairment) by consuming drugs, alcohol or a combination of the two. This includes cars, trucks, boats, snowmobiles, aircraft and off-road vehicles.
- Driving impaired by drugs and/or alcohol is not only dangerous, it is illegal and can result in arrest, charges, and severe fines and fees.
- Ontario’s zero tolerance - Young, novice and commercial drivers must have zero BAC and zero presence of cannabis or other drugs.
- Young drivers are those 21 and under.
- Novice drivers are those with G1, G2, M1, or M2 licenses of any age.
- Commercial Drivers are those driving vehicles requiring an A-F class licence, vehicles requiring a Commercial Vehicle Operator's Registration (CVOR) and road building machines.
- Medical Cannabis does not allow you to drive impaired.
- Persons legally authorized to use cannabis for medical purposes, are not be subject to Ontario’s zero tolerance drug requirements for young, novice and commercial drivers. However, drivers can still be arrested and charged if a police officer determines their ability to drive is impaired.
How do Police Detect and Test for Drug and Alcohol Impaired Driving
If a police officer believes a person is impaired by drug, alcohol or combination they may be arrested and taken to the police station for further testing.
- If a police officer has suspicion that a person is impaired by drugs, alcohol or a combination then roadside screening tests may be administered. These include a Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) and an Approved Screening Device (ASD) test. Performing poorly on the SFST test or failing the ASD test may result in immediate licence suspension, vehicle impoundment, arrest and then a trip the police station for further testing.
- If arrested at the roadside for impaired driving your vehicle will be towed and impounded for seven days.
- Refusing an SFST or ASD test at roadside may result in arrest and charges.
At the station you will be evaluated by qualified breath technician or drug recognition expert.
- If you fail either test then you may be charged with impaired driving.
- You will be released with a future court date or held for a bail hearing.
- Your vehicle will be impounded for 7 days and your licence suspended for 90 days.
Fines and Penalties for Impaired Driving
- See the Ministry of Transportation website http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/safety/impaired-driving.shtml#penalties