Like any drug, cannabis produces effects on the brain that can impair an individual’s ability to drive. Decreased alertness, altered distance perception, reduced reaction time, poor coordination, etc.
When you use cannabis and drive, you risk your life and the lives of others. Despite this, many intoxicated drivers still choose to get behind the wheel. The Criminal Code and the Highway Safety Code provide a range of consequences to deter and penalize these individuals. This article will familiarize you with the penalties for driving under the influence of cannabis.
Saliva test: penalties for driving under the influence of cannabis begin
At any time, if a police officer suspects that you are driving under the influence of cannabis, they may ask you to take a few tests to find out if you are driving while impaired. Among these is the saliva test, which is carried out on the side of the road. If you fail this test, your driver’s licence will be suspended immediately for a period of 90 days. In addition to this suspension, you will receive a fine ranging from $300 to $600, which will double in the event of a repeat offence. Note that refusing or failing to submit to the saliva test required by the police officer is a criminal offence that automatically carries the most severe penalties.
The consequences of smoking behind the wheel will follow
In addition to the saliva test, the police officer may also perform movement coordination tests. These tests are designed to evaluate your eye movement, gait and balance. Failure to pass these tests is enough for the police officer to take you in for another round of testing, this time by a drug recognition expert. If you fail the coordination tests, your driver’s licence will be immediately suspended for a period of 24 hours. In addition, if the officer concludes that your driving ability was effectively impaired by cannabis, your licence will be suspended for 90 days.
If you are found guilty of driving under the influence of marijuana…
At the end of this entire process, if you are convicted of driving under the influence of cannabis under the Criminal Code, you will be liable for a minimum fine of $1,000. In addition, you will have a criminal record and your driver’s licence will be suspended for a period of at least 1 year. You will also be required to complete the Programme d’évaluation et de réduction du risque de conduite avec les capacités affaiblies (PERRCCA). Repeat offenders and drivers who have caused an accident may be sentenced to imprisonment.
Minimize the impact of penalties for driving under the influence of cannabis
There is no reason to drive under the influence of cannabis. Driving “stoned” is putting your own life in danger, as well as the lives of others. If you know you are going to use cannabis, leave your car at home and plan another means of transportation. As a licence holder, it is your responsibility.
Have you been accused of driving under the influence of cannabis? Call Riendeau Lawyers. Our criminal lawyers can help you defend your case and reduce the impact of a conviction on your life.