The legalization of marijuana in Canada is fast approaching which is causing many provinces and territories to revisit their current impaired driving laws and revise them accordingly. In Ontario, Premier Kathleen Wynne announced the introduction of new legislation for driving under the influence. The legislation includes zero tolerance for anyone 21 years old and under, novice drivers, and all commercial drivers.
If a driver is pulled over and suspected of being under the influence of marijuana, a saliva drug screening device, which will be approved in the coming months, will test the recent presence of several drugs, including THC.
According to an Ontario Ministry of Transportation press release, each occurrence of impairment will have a fine and a licence suspension. For commercial drivers the penalties are as follows:
|Licence suspension||Monetary penalty|
|First occurrence||3 days||$250|
|Second occurrence||3 days||$350|
|Third and subsequent occurrences||3 days||$450|
|*Other penalties, such as mandatory education or treatment programs may also apply for repeat offenders.|
At Canada Cartage, the safety of truck drivers, other motorists, pedestrians, and roadways is our top priority. Canada Cartage has a zero-tolerance policy in regards to drugs and alcohol, and strictly adheres to all Federal and Provincial laws regarding driver safety. The federal government’s plan to push through the legalization date before there is an approved device for testing THC levels is concerning. However, Canada Cartage will continue to enforce the zero-tolerance policy and exercise safe driving best practices through this transition to ensure our roadways are safe for all motorists.