Legal Chronicles

Charge for Driving while under the Influence of Drugs

What happens if you get caught driving under the influence of drugs ?

In the event of a violation, the driver’s license is immediately suspended for 90 days (starting from the time of your arrest).

Entry into force: October 17th, 2018

Following the legalization of cannabis by the Government of Canada, the Quebec National Assembly passed the Cannabis Act and amended various provisions relating to road safety. This law introduces, most notably, a zero tolerance policy for driving while under the influence of drugs, which prohibits driving while there is a detectable presence of cannabis (THC) or another drug in the saliva.

Bill C-46 has adopted the following measures:

If a police officer suspects that you have used drugs, he can ask you to submit to a movement coordination test. These tests are enough for him to put you under arrest and request a blood test.

If there is failure of the coordination test, in addition to your license being suspended for 90 days, you will be fined $300 to $600 (which will be doubled if it is a repeated offense).

As with drinking and driving, in addition to the on-the-spot sanctions listed above, other penalties will apply if you are convicted under the Criminal Code for an offense of a driving while under the influence of drugs. The new law also provides for other measures, such as prohibiting the use of drugs (cannabis or otherwise) in a road vehicle, an off-road vehicle or a bicycle.

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