A Complete List Of The Punishments For Driving High On Marijuana In Every Canadian Province - MTL Blog

A Complete List Of The Punishments For Driving High On Marijuana In Every Canadian Province

Some provinces are more severe than others.

Canada is just one month away from legal recreational marijuana.

While legalization is a federal initiative, it will be up to the individual provinces to devise regulations for both the distribution of weed and the enforcement of drug-related offenses.

ALSO READ: Montreal Is Hosting A Huge "Mini Succulent And Plant Sale" This Week

Of particular note are the penalties associated with driving high.

These vary greatly by province. To help you navigate the web of new laws across the country, we've compiled a list of punishments for driving high in each jurisdiction.

This information comes directly from provincial legislation and public statements.

The best advice to avoid these penalties: just don't drive high.

British Columbia

In B.C., driving high carries the same penalties as driving drunk with a few additions, according to the provincial government site.

First offense:

– seizure of driver's license for ninety days
– vehicle impounded for three days, driver responsible for towing fees
– $200 fine

Second offense:

– seizure of driver's license for ninety days
– vehicle impounded for seven days
– $300 fine
– possible driving course

Third offense:

– seizure of driver's license for ninety days
– vehicle impounded for thirty days
– $400 fine
– driving course
– possible mandatory ignition interlock (device that measures THC or blood-alcohol level in blood to turn on a vehicle)


Alberta

The government of Alberta clearly lists the penalties for driving high.

First offense:

– immediate 90-day licence suspension
– immediate 3-day vehicle seizure
– mandatory driving course
– one-year participation in an igntion interlock program
– $1,000 fine

Second offense:

– immediate 90-day licence suspension
– mandatory driving course
– one-year participation in an igntion interlock program
– mandatory 30-day imprisonment

Third offense:

– mandatory driving course
– one-year participation in an igntion interlock program
– mandatory 120-day imprisonment


 

Saskatchewan

This information comes from the Saskatchewan driver's licensing and vehicle registration agency.

First offense:

– license suspension for three days
– impounded vehicle for three days
– mandatory driving course

Charge:

– driver’s licence suspension until the court has disposed of the charge
– 30-day vehicle seizure, driver responsible for towing fees
– 60-day suspension if driver is also impaired by alcohol and has a blood alcohol concentration over .16

Conviction:

– one-year driving suspension to a maximum of five years
– fine of $1,250 to $2,500 
– mandatory driving course


Manitoba

The Manitoba Public Insurance site clearly lists the penalties for driving high.

First offense:

– suspension of driver's license for one year
– possible 18 month imprisonment
– $1,000 fine

Second offense:

– five year suspension of driver's license
– minimum 30 days imprisonment

Third offense:

– ten year suspension of driver's license
– minimum 120 days imprisonment

Accident that leads to bodily harm or death:

– 5 year suspension of driver's license
– possible 10 year imprisonment


Ontario

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation lists three different categories of penalty: offense without indictment, charges, and court conviction.


First offense:

– 3 day suspension of license 
– $250 fine

Second offense:

– 7 day suspension of driver's license
– mandatory education program costing $350

Third offense:

– 30 day suspension of license
– treatment program
– ignition interlock device for 6 months
– $450 fine
– mandatory medical exam

Court convictions:

First offence:

– licence suspension of at least 1 year
– mandatory education or treatment program
– ignition interlock device for at least 1 year
– mandatory medical evaluation

Second offence:

– licence suspension of at least 3 years
– mandatory education or treatment program
– ignition interlock device for at least 3 years
– mandatory medical evaluation

Third offense:

– lifetime licence suspension
– mandatory education or treatment programs
– ignition interlock device for at least 6 years


Quebec

Quebec's pentalties are perhaps the most straightforward and unforgiving. This information comes from the SAAQ.

First offense:

– immediate suspension of license for 90 days
– suspension of license for one year
– $1,000 fine

Second offense:

– $2,000 fine
– prison for period determined by court


 

New Brunswick

The government of New Brunswick is the least clear about penalties related to driving high. Though, it does list these possible punishments on its website:

– immediate short-term roadside suspensions (for a period of time presumably determined by court)
– licence suspension (for a period of time presumably determined by court)
– vehicle impoundment (for a period of time presumably determined by court)
– mandatory driving course
– licence reinstatement fees for drug-impaired drivers


Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia is explicitly clear on its website:

First offence:

– $1,000 fine
– 1 year licence suspension

Second offense:

– imprisonment of up to 30 days
– three-year licence suspension

Third offense:

– imprisonment of up to 120 days
– five-year licence suspension

Fourth offense:

– indefinite revocation of licence


Prince Edward Island

The government of Prince Edward Island also separates penalties according to the serverity of legal proceedings.

First offense:

– 1 day suspension of your license
– 7 day driving ban
– vehicle impounded for 30 days

Second offense:

– 1 day suspension of your license
– 7 day driving ban
– vehicle impounded for 60 days

Charge:

– vehicle impounded for 6 months

Conviction:

First offense:

– revocation of driver's license for 1 year
– 1 year driving ban

Second offense:

– revocation of driver's license for 5 years
– 2 year driving ban

Third offense: 

– revocation of license for 5 years
– three year driving ban


Newfoundland & Labrador

In Newfoundland & Labrador, those who drive high are subject to the same penalties as motorists that drive drunk, with some additions. This information comes from the provincial government and DUI.ca.

First offense:

– vehicle impounded for 7 days
– 1 year driving ban
– $600 fine
– mandatory driving course

Second offense:

– vehicle impounded for 7 days
– 3 year driving ban
– 14 days jail time
– mandatory medical exam

Third offense:

– 10 year driving ban 
– 90 days imprisonment
– mandatory medical exam


 

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Thomas MacDonald