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Ontario announces tougher penalties for drug-impaired drivers

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Ontario has taken a major step towards ensuring that the roads in the province are a lot safer by imposing tougher penalties for drug-impaired drivers starting October 2, 2016.

Drivers who are caught driving under the influence of drugs will have to shell out $180 in penalty; will also have their license suspended for 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. Further, there is also a possibility that there is a 90-day licence suspension and a seven-day vehicle impoundment following further testing by a drug recognition expert at a police station. If drivers are caught under the influence for two or more times within a 10-year period, they have to go through mandatory education or treatment programs, and installation of an ignition interlock device in their vehicle. In addition to these penalties, impaired driving can lead to criminal charges which could ultimately result in a loss of licence, additional fines and jail time.

Ontario government revealed that the latest steps are part of the Making Ontario’s Roads Safer Act which was enacted last year. According to the province, keeping roads safe in Ontario is part of government’s economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs.

The four-part plan includes helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and transit in Ontario’s history and is investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.