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Driving High: Canada’s New Drug‐Impaired Driving Laws

Cannabis became legal in Canada on October 17, 2018. Anytime something becomes legal, there is a framework created for its legal use; when you fall outside of this framework, the activity becomes illegal. We’ve covered a lot of the issues pertaining to the legalization of cannabis on the blog already, but we haven’t gone in depth on what might be one of the most important — and contentious — issues. It is illegal to drive high. What exactly that means is made clear by legislation, but it’s unclear whether or not that legislative framework actually works.

Here’s the framework: you cannot drive with 2 or more nanograms (ng) of THC per ml of blood. Between 2 and 5 ng THC/ml of blood, you face a maximum fine of 1000$, unless there is also alcohol in your blood. For individuals with over 5 ng THC/ml blood, or individuals with (50+ mg alcohol/ml of blood) + (2.5+ ng THC/ml blood), you face much steeper penalties, including a mandatory minimum 1000$ fine for a first offense and 30 days imprisonment for a second offense. Here’s a more complete list of alcohol and cannabis related impaired driving charges.

The main problem with this legislative framework is how THC is processed by the system, and how it can be detected. THC is a complex molecule, more so than alcohol, and the method by which you consume it will also change how it affects you. You won’t see a chart explaining how many puffs you can take before you reach the legal limit, because one person might process the THC quite rapidly, while another might have it linger in their bloodstream. Additionally, how impaired a person gets is not necessarily clear based on how much THC is in their bloodstream; some folks might be impaired for hours after the THC has left their bloodstream, while others might not be impaired while it’s still present.

THC will enter and leave the bloodstream in relatively short order; it usually peaks in the bloodstream about 3–10 minutes after inhalation, but about 1–2 hours after being ingested. THC is fat soluble, unlike alcohol, which is water soluble. That means detecting alcohol in the bloodstream is a much more accurate measure of how much can be consumed; THC, on the other hand, can enter the bloodstream days after it was consumed, as it’s slowly released by fatty tissues.

There are roadside saliva tests to check for THC. They have not been proven to be accurate. Their accuracy may be impeded by the cold. That means that in order to have an accurate test, a blood sample must be taken and, as we’ve discussed, even that might not be totally accurate. The rules for the level of THC indicate that it cannot be above the stated amounts within 2 hours of driving; what that two hours will do for each person depends highly on their metabolism, level of fat, and frequency of smoking.

You should never drive high. That said, you may be pulled over, get tested, find you have high levels of THC, get a blood test, and find you had THC in your system above the legal limit — even if you weren’t high. What all this boils down to: if you get charged with impaired driving for THC in your system, get an impaired driving defense lawyer. Immediately.

Cannabis Edibles: What You Need to Know

Cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17th, but as with anything legal, there are stipulations around how it can be used and purchased. We’ve gone over many of the essentials of purchasing and using cannabis in our blog already; today, we’re going to look into edible cannabis products. We want to address if they can be purchased and used, and what to be aware of if you’ve used edible cannabis.

You can purchase cannabis through licensed distributors, and the cannabis products you purchase can come in many forms, including sprays, oils and dried flower. One of the Government of Canada’s goals when legalizing cannabis was to reduce use among youth, who are particularly at risk to suffer detrimental effects due to the use of the drug. That’s part of the reason the government introduced laws regulating how cannabis can be advertised, and stiff penalties for distribution to youth. Edible cannabis is often found in the form of sweets; candies, brownies, and other sugary snacks. These appeal disproportionately to youth, so the Government of Canada has not legalized the retail sale of edibles at this point in time.

While you cannot purchase edibles, you can make them yourself with the cannabis you purchase. This post won’t go into detail about how this is done, but it’s worth mentioning that once you’ve done it, you’ll have a product that will affect you quite differently than smoking dried flower. Edible cannabis is metabolized differently, and can often have much more potent effects, even with the same amount of THC consumed. That means you should be cautious when consuming edible cannabis, as you might get higher than you initially anticipated.

Edible cannabis takes effect more slowly that its smoked counterpart, which is another reason to proceed with caution. There’s many a naive consumer who has decided to eat too much cannabis because they “didn’t feel anything”. When it all kicks in, they’ve taken too much; while it’s almost impossible to have a life‐threatening dose of cannabis, it is definitely unpleasant and debilitating when you over consume. That’s problematic, but it’s worse if after eating edible cannabis you decide it hasn’t taken effect and get behind the wheel. When the cannabis kicks in (it can be quite sudden), you’ll be putting yourself and other drivers at risk. Should you be pulled over for reckless driving, you may also face legal ramifications; if you’ve eaten cannabis, be very careful and patient, and don’t start driving.

Should you find yourself facing legal consequences for driving high, there are always options. Hiring an experienced DUI lawyer is your best bet for creating a solid case for yourself; given how new the cannabis laws are, you want someone with a lot of experience in DUI cases in order to navigate these new legal waters. Driving impaired is driving impaired, whether it’s alcohol or marijuana, so there can be steep consequences if it’s found that you’ve violated the law. Know the law, and don’t drive high!

Cannabis and the Border

Cannabis was legalized in Canada on October 17th, 2018. Of course, legality isn’t so much a state as it is a framework; there’s a ton of stipulations that come with the legalization of anything, and cannabis is no exception. Since it was legalized, we’ve been discussing the legal ramifications in this blog; we’ve done general overviews, but recently have opted to dive into particular legal issues surrounding cannabis legalization. One of the most important things to understand with cannabis legalization is how it can affect international travel.

A man from New York recently experienced the effects of cannabis on border crossings first hand when he tried to bring cannabis over the Canada‐US Border; cannabis is still illegal in the United States, and he’s facing significant legal consequences. It’s important to note that some states have legalized cannabis, but it is still illegal federally, and the United States Federal Government handles border security. That means it’s illegal to carry cannabis over the border, even to a state that’s ostensibly legalized the substance.

Interestingly, it is also illegal to bring cannabis into Canada over an international border, even if the other country or state has legalized cannabis. That means you can’t bring cannabis from Amsterdam to Canada, or from Washington state to British Columbia, even though Canada has legalized marijuana. Over time, it’s possible the legal framework will change, but for the time being, you have to smoke it where you bought it, lest you face trafficking charges.

There may be a future in which the legal infrastructure changes; consider that alcohol can be transported over a lot of borders with relative ease. Of course, if you look at alcohol closely, you’ll see that there are many rules and regulations stipulating the amounts of alcohol you can actually transport, but there is a method of doing so. We’re not nearly there yet with cannabis, and, in fact, things can be much more dire.

You should be aware that you may be asked about your cannabis consumption when you attempt to cross the Canada‐US border. Though cannabis is legal in Canada, if you answer that you have indeed consumed cannabis, you may be denied entry to the United States, in the same way, you could be barred if you admitted you’d consumed heroin. Hopefully, this will be remedied in the future, but for the time being it’s important to be aware of the potential international consequences of cannabis consumption.

Should you face legal consequences when trying to transport cannabis over the border, a Winnipeg criminal lawyer will help you form a case in order to defend you against potentially life altering charges. Given the new realm of legality we’re facing as of October 17th, it’s important to have an experienced lawyer who deals with drug‐related charges take on your case; they will be able to navigate the new legal waters and help to find the best outcome for you.

Over‐representation of Indigenous People in Canada’s Prisons

There is an enormous, systemic problem in the legal system today; the problem of over incarceration of Indigenous people. While Indigenous people for 5 percent of the Canadian population, they accounted for 27 percent of Canada’s prison population from 2016–2017. In Manitoba, the problem is even more severe, with over 80 percent of youth incarcerations from the same period being First Nations youth. When you look at the numbers, it seems completely absurd; Indigenous people in prison account for over 5 times their representation in the general population.

There are so many different reasons for this it’s almost impossible to parse them all. First, you have to consider the history of colonialism; displacement, residential schools, and systemic racism have caused widespread poverty throughout many First Nations communities. Poverty is the number one driver for crime; people who can afford to buy a loaf of bread don’t need to steal it. There’s also the disproportionately high number of Indigenous children who are separated from their parents by Child and Family Services, with connotations and consequences similar to residential schools. After all, children being wrested away from their parents and growing up in a community with no ties can cause major problems.

All of that would be problematic enough, but when you add onto it the systemic racism of the court system, it gets even worse. Many Indigenous people have noted that they’re stopped often by police, in what may well be racial profiling. They are also more likely not to be granted bail, and, tragically, more likely to be killed in encounters with police in Manitoba. When the entire system seems set up against you, it can be tempting to give up; the game seems fixed against you, so what can be done?

Well, if you’re charged with a crime, the first step is to call a Winnipeg criminal lawyer. Canada is attempting to rectify the injustices within the criminal justice system as it relates to Indigenous people, and one of the first steps of rectifying any injustice is to recognize it has occurred. The Supreme Court of Canada has actually called on judges to recognize these injustices and in a ruling for the case R. vs. Gladue, created in principle in which all reasonable alternatives to incarceration must be considered when sentencing an Indigenous person. This court ruling was further upheld by another case, R. vs. Ipeelee; without getting too into detail, the Ipeelee ruling confirmed that judges have to take into account the history of colonialism, displacement, and residential schools. These are facts of Canadian history, dour as they may be.

If you are an Indigenous person who has been charged with a criminal offense, what this means is that you need the best criminal defense representation you can find; someone who understands the legacy of colonialism and who has the ability to create a staunch defense of your rights.

Pot Pardons in Canada

As of October 17, 2018, marijuana is legal in Canada. This is seen as a huge step forward by many Canadians who felt the harms that came with using the drug were about equivalent to the harms caused by alcohol or cigarette consumption. When a law against possession of a controlled substance is overturned, it creates an interesting question for the legal system: what do you do with all of the people who were convicted of possession before it was legal?

Pardons, formally known as record suspensions, are one way you can mitigate the effects of a criminal record. Record suspensions are used for citizens who have demonstrated good behaviour over the years after a crime has been committed; there are a host of different qualifiers to allow you to apply for a pardon, but if you meet all of them, including the payment of a fee and a five year good behaviour waiting period, you can apply for one. When a pardon is granted, your criminal record isn’t erased; rather, it removes the record from the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) database. That means when employers run a criminal record check through the database, your criminal record will not appear (though exceptions exist for offenses of a sexual nature).

The government is considering using pardons as a tool to help rectify the imbalance between the former criminality of marijuana use and its newfound legality. The tools they are considering is a form of streamlined pardon process; namely, that the five‐year waiting period will be waived, as will all of the associated fees. Contrary to what many believe, this legislation is not on the books; it’s being considered by the government, likely to be introduced early next year. That means it may be to your advantage to wait before applying for the pardon; it’s not clear to exactly what offenses the expedited pardon laws might apply. While they are likely to allow expedited pardons for simple possession, it may be less likely that they will do the same for marijuana related DUI charges, as smoking marijuana and driving is still illegal under the Criminal Code. Possession over 30 grams may have been seen as possession with intent to distribute, and may thus be ineligible for the pardon, but we’ll have to wait for the law to know for sure.

Some politicians are calling for the federal government to instead allow criminal records of those convicted of marijuana possession to have their records expunged instead of pardoned; expungement is a more extreme version of the pardon which totally eliminates the record of a criminal conviction from all databases. The federal government allows expungement in the case of historical injustices; they have argued that the laws against marijuana use were not unjust. Others have argued that because convictions were primarily levied against Black and Indigenous people, they are unjust; again, we’ll have to wait to see what the new legislation says.

If you were convicted of marijuana possession in the past, or are charged with marijuana related offenses today, a criminal lawyer can help; an experienced DUI lawyer can be especially useful if charged with driving related marijuana offenses.

The Basics of Canadian Law

Canada’s system of laws is integral to our national identity; the laws we create help shape the culture of our nation, balancing our notions of freedom and responsibility. Canada’s law‐making philosophy is “Peace, Order and Good Governance”, which has come to be seen as equivalent to our neighbor to the South’s “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”; it’s obvious that the law is very important to Canadians.

There are three branches of government, broadly defined as legislative, executive and judicial; their function, in order, is to create laws, to administer laws and to interpret law. This means that politicians and their staff might be called legislators; indeed, they often dwell in the Legislative Building. The executive branch might include the Canada Revenue Agency and other government agencies; the judicial branch includes lawyers, judges and other legal professionals.

Canada’s law is further divided into three levels: municipal, provincial/territorial, and federal. These three levels are all responsible for different elements of governance; your municipal government will handle transportation and infrastructure within your city, as well as the collection of property taxes and other municipal fees. There is no municipal court, as municipalities exist at the will of the provincial government. The provincial and territorial level, then, take care of their own domains; infrastructure within the province, property and civil rights, prisons, health care and education are all within the purview of this level of government. Provincial governments, like municipal governments, will have their own branch of law enforcement, usually by contracting the RCMP. They do not, however, have the right to make criminal law; the Criminal Code is exclusively the realm of the federal government. The federal government also levies federal taxes, pays equalization payments, and takes care of many social services, banking law, defense and other issues of national concern.

The court system of Canada is split between the federal and provincial/territorial governments. Generally speaking, a given court case will start in a provincial court, known sometimes as the lowest court. These courts deal with small claims, most criminal offenses, and some elements of family law (but not divorce/marriage law). The next level is known as the Superior Court; it might also be called the Supreme Court, or the Court of the Queen’s Bench. These Courts deal with large claims, serious criminal offenses, and divorce cases. The Court of Appeals is the final provincial court, which, appropriately enough, deals with appeals that have gone past the Superior Court.

Federal Courts deal with a wide range of issues not covered by the other courts, including intellectual property law, citizenship claims and provincial disputes. There are also specialized branches of federal courts which deal with specific disputes, such as the Tax Court or the Court Martial. Appeals from the Federal Courts go to the Federal Court of Appeals; all appeals which cannot be rectified by other courts and are considered legitimate arrive at the Supreme Court of Canada, the highest‐level court in the country.

The law is complex, but understanding the branches and levels can help anyone better navigate its murky waters. The best way of learning the law is by looking to a professional; if you’ve been charged with a crime, there are recognized criminal lawyers in Winnipeg ready to help you.

 

All About Lie Detectors

You’ve heard of polygraph tests, often called lie detectors; the police hook you up to a machine, it monitors your blood pressure, respiration, pulse and other physical responses, and you’re asked a series of questions. Depending on how your physical responses change when you answer the questions, the machine will be able to tell whether or not you’re lying…or so the story goes. As it turns out, lie detectors are not nearly as reliable as popular culture might have you believe.

The value of polygraph tests is debated between scientists, but mainly believe them to be mostly pseudoscience, with one psychologist going so far as to compare it to throwing a suspected witch into a river. The core problem with lie detection is that there’s no one set of physiological responses you can expect when someone lies; one liar might start sweating, while another goes completely dry. Some people become exceptionally nervous when they lie, while others stay cool as cucumbers; experienced liars might have no problem at all “fooling” a lie detector. Some people will even thinking arousing thoughts when giving true answers, because the symptoms of arousal and nervous excitement are often similar, physiologically speaking. Yet another problem with the lie detector is how often it gives false positives; the test is said to be decent at detecting lies, but quite bad at detecting honesty, which is incredibly problematic for the justice system.

It’s understandable, then, to wonder at whether or not the results from a polygraph are admissible in court; the system seems quite unreliable, after all! The answer is quite straightforward: no, the results of a polygraph test are not admissible as evidence in a criminal court. This was made clear in the ruling of a Supreme Court case, R. v. Béland; interestingly enough, the ruling was more based on procedural rules than the unreliability of lie detector evidence. Without delving too deeply into the details, the ruling was made because polygraph results were deemed confusing, unnecessary, and were deemed to violate rules of evidence.

The first way polygraphs violate standards is that the results of an “honest” polygraph test serve only to bolster the credibility of a given party’s witness; this is known as oath‐helping, and is against the rules. Another rules violation is that having someone say “They told me the same thing they’re telling the court” can’t make a witness more credible; the polygraph tester would essentially be acting as that person, so the evidence is inadmissible. Yet another violation is that you can establish your reputation, but you can’t refer to specific acts that establish character, i.e. “The proof that I’m not a liar is that I passed the polygraph test”. Finally, the court assumes the ability of the judge and jury to establish how honest a witness is being; expert testimony should only be used to establish facts that are otherwise unknowable.

While the results of a polygraph test aren’t admissible, anything you say to the police might be admissible as evidence in court, including what you say during a polygraph test. A recognized Winnipeg criminal lawyer will help you understand your right, and how to proceed to make the best case for yourself, if you are charged with a criminal offense.

What are My Rights When Police Stop Me?

Do I Need to Say Anything to the Police?

You need to produce your identification, insurance and vehicle registration if requested by the police and comply with their demands for a saliva sample, sobriety test, and/ or a blood or urine sample. Other than complying with these things and identifying yourself, you do not need to speak to the police. This means that if they ask you questions, like whether you have smoked marijuana, you do not need to answer.

If you are arrested, you have the right to remain silent and do not need to speak to the police. In Canada, even if you tell police you are using your right to silence they may continue to ask you questions. You do not need to say anything.

It is a criminal offence to lie to the police about your identity or in a statement. Simply stay silent. If you are unsure whether you need to say anything, ask to call a lawyer.

Can They Search My Car?

If you are stopped at the side of the road, police can look in your car like any other person could. This means looking through your windows, possibly with a flashlight if it is dark. Police can see anything left in plain sight in your vehicle, like a bong or bag of cannabis.

Police cannot search your car unless they believe a crime was committed and that items connected to that crime are in your car. If the police believe there is something in your car, they cannot search unless they have a warrant, or believe exigent circumstances are present. Exigent circumstances means that police believe that they must search your car now because they are concerned for their safety, the public’s safety, or think evidence would be destroyed. Your car may be impounded until the police have a search warrant. Then they would search your car for evidence. This can include searching inside any bags left in your car.

Police may try to get your consent to search your car, trunk, or to look inside of any bags in your car. You do not need to give them consent.

Can They Search Me?

Police can do a pat down search of your body either upon arrest, or before arrest if they believe that their own safety is at risk. This is done for their safety to ensure that you do not have any weapons or things that could harm anyone. If police feel any hard objects, they may ask you to take those objects out of your pocket.

When Do I Get to Call a Lawyer?

When you are initially stopped, either by the police or at a traffic stop, you do not have the right to call a lawyer. You must comply with an oral fluid test if they ask without consulting a lawyer. If you refuse and the police charge you, then you may speak to a lawyer.

If police request a DRE, or a blood or urine sample, then you have the right to talk to a lawyer.

If police arrest you, and take you into custody, then you have the right to talk to a lawyer.

If you do not know your lawyer’s phone number, police can assist you in getting your lawyer’s phone number. If your lawyer cannot be reached, or if you do not have a lawyer, you can tell the police you want to speak with a lawyer and they can arrange for you to speak with Legal Aid. You can also call a private lawyer who you can hire later if you wish.

Criminal Offences and Penalties for Driving While Impaired — Part 3

Drug Impaired Driving Cause Bodily Harm

If you drive impaired and cause harm or injury to another person, the maximum sentence is 10 years imprisonment.

You will also be subject to a driving suspension. Your first conviction is a 5 year suspension. The second conviction is a 10 year suspension. The third and following convictions within 10 years results in a lifetime suspension. A licence suspension means you cannot drive any type of vehicle on or off road for the suspension period. You will also get 15 demerits on your Driver Safety Rating. You will be subject to a $50 licence reinstatement charge through MPI if you wish to drive again after your suspension is over. Your vehicle can be impounded at your expense for at least 60 days. You may be required to complete a course at the Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) at your own expense if you receive a 3 month suspension, or a combination of any 2 suspensions in a 10 year period.

If you must drive for work or personal reasons, you may appeal your driving suspension to the Licence Suspension Appeal Board who can give you conditional driving privileges.

Offenders may also have their vehicle seized by the police. Upon conviction, the vehicle is not returned to you.

Drug Impaired Driving Cause Death

If you drive impaired and cause the death of another person, the maximum sentence is life imprisonment. You will also be subject to a driving suspension. Your first conviction is a 5 year suspension. The second conviction is a 10 year suspension. The third and following convictions within 10 years results in a lifetime suspension.

A licence suspension means you cannot drive any type of vehicle on or off road for the suspension period. You will also receive 15 demerits on your Driver Safety Rating. You will be subject to a $50 licence reinstatement charge through MPI if you wish to drive again after your suspension is over. Your vehicle can be impounded at your expense for at least 60 days. You may be required to complete a course at Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) at your own expense if you receive a 3 month suspension, or a combination of any 2 suspensions in a 10 year period.

If you must drive for work or personal reasons, you may appeal your driving suspension to the Licence Suspension Appeal Board who can give you conditional driving privileges.

Offenders may also have their vehicle seized by the police. Upon conviction, the vehicle is not returned to you.

Refusal to Provide a Sample

Refusing to provide a saliva, blood, or urine sample is a criminal offence. This means that refusing to do an oral fluid screening test will result in a criminal charge.

Your first conviction for refusal results in a 2 year driving suspension. The second conviction has a 7 year suspension. The third conviction has a 10 year suspension. Four or more convictions within 10 years has a lifetime driving suspension.

Refusal to give a sample, or do a physical coordination test, can result in an immediate suspension of your licence for 3 months. A licence suspension means you cannot drive any type of vehicle on or off road for the 3 month period. You will be subject to a $50 licence reinstatement charge through MPI if you wish to drive again after your suspension is over. Your vehicle can be impounded at your expense for at least 60 days if you refuse to provide a sample, and refuse to participate in a physical coordination test. You may be required to complete a course at Addictions Foundation of Manitoba (AFM) at your own expense if you receive a 3 month suspension, or a combination of any two suspensions in a 10 year period.

If you must drive for work or personal reasons, you may appeal your driving suspension to the Licence Suspension Appeal Board who can give you conditional driving privileges.

Criminal Offences and Penalties for Driving While Impaired — Part 2

Important Things About Impaired Driving in Canada

What are the Criminal Penalties for Impaired Driving?

A hybrid offence means that the Crown can choose whether to make your charge summary of indictable. A summary offence usually carries lesser penalties than an indictable offence.

Being convicted of the summary conviction offence of 2 nanograms (ng) but less than 5 ng of THC per millilitre (ml) of blood carries a maximum $1,000 fine and a minimum 1 year driving prohibition in the Highway Traffic Act.

Being convicted of either hybrid offence of (1) having 5 ng or more of THC per ml of blood or (2) having a combination of 50 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, and 2.5 ng or more of THC per 1 ml of blood, carries different mandatory sentences depending on whether it is your first, second, or third offence. All of these penalties are the minimum you must be charged with. Depending on the circumstances of the offence, you can be sentenced to pay a higher fine, have a longer driving prohibition, and serve more jail time.

A first conviction for either (1) having 5 ng or more of THC per ml of blood or (2) having a combination of 50 mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood, and 2.5 ng or more of THC per 1 ml of blood, carries a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine and a 1 year driving prohibition. A second conviction has a mandatory minimum of 30 days imprisonment and a 5 year driving prohibition. Third and more convictions have a mandatory minimum of 120 days imprisonment and a 10 years to life driving prohibition. These are the minimums you can be charged with. Depending on the circumstances of the offence and your previous driving history, you can be charged with more. For example, your driving prohibition may be higher under the Highway Traffic Act if you have prior convictions of driving offences. Depending on your record, these additional prohibitions can range from 1 year to a lifetime.

In addition to these mandatory sentences, you can have probation added to your sentence with certain conditions added like a curfew, not attend a certain location, no contact with a certain person, and not consume drugs or alcohol.

Costs and surcharges will be charged to you for each criminal offence you are convicted of. They are an additional 30% plus $2 of the fine given to you by the judge. For example, if you fined $1,000 by the judge, an additional $302 would be added for a total fine of $1,302. You can either pay the fine, or work off the fine by doing community service worth through the Fine Option Program. Some offences may not be able to be worked off, such as a Highway Traffic Act offence or parking tickets.

If you are convicted of two or more Criminal Code driving offences within 5 years, you can have your vehicle seized. These offences can include: operation while impaired; driving with a blood alcohol level over 0.8, refusing to supply a breath or blood sample; driving while disqualified; dangerous operation of a vehicle; flight from police and failure to stop at an accident. Upon conviction, your vehicle is not returned to you.

Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) may impose additional penalties to those of the courts.

What are the Penalties with Manitoba Public Insurance (MPI) for Impaired Driving?

If you are suspected by police of being under the influence of any drug you can receive an immediate 24 hour roadside licence suspension. This means that if you fail a physical coordination test, or test positive on an oral fluid screening test, your driver’s licence will be invalid for 24 hours.

If you fail an oral fluid screening test as a novice driver you may be fined $113, and failing a supervising driver can have a fine of $672.

If you fail a physical coordination test or Drug Recognition Evaluation (DRE), you are subject to a Tiered Administrative Licence Suspension. These suspensions range from 72 hours to 60 days depending on how many previous suspensions you have received within a 10 year period. This suspension will result in 5 demerits on your Driver Safety Rating. You may also be subject to Driver Improvement and Control Intervention, a warning letter, further suspension, or completion of an Impaired Driver Assessment. In addition, you will receive an immediate licence suspension.

Refusal to provide a blood sample, perform a DRE, or perform a physical coordination test, will receive an immediate 3 month Administrative Licence Suspension. This will result in 5 demerits and a payment to reinstate your licence.

If you must drive for work or personal reasons, you may appeal your driving suspension to the Licence Suspension Appeal Board who can give you conditional driving privileges.

Penalties imposed by MPI are separate from those imposed by the justice system.

Can I Drive While High on Drugs other than Cannabis?

Along with the regulations of THC, any detectable level of other impairing drugs such as LSD, methamphetamine, LSD, 6‐MAM (heroine), Ketamine, Phencyclidine, and Psilocybin and Psilocin (magic mushrooms) is a criminal offence.

You may have up to 5mg/L of GHB in your blood, as the human body produces small amounts of this chemical naturally.

Having any amount of these drugs in your system, or more than 5mg/L of GHB, carries penalties for first, second, and subsequent convictions. The first conviction carries a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine. The second conviction a mandatory minimum of 30 days imprisonment. The third and following convictions have a mandatory minimum of 120 days imprisonment.