Drugs and Driving: New Criminal Code Offences

The federal government has added three new drug-related driving offences.

If a police officer suspects that you have consumed drugs, you may be required to submit to physical coordination tests. These tests are enough for the police officer to place you under arrest and require that you provide a blood sample.

If your blood sample contains a concentration of cannabis (THC), for example, that is above the concentration prescribed by federal regulation, you could face Criminal Code charges. The prescribed blood drug concentrations for cannabis are as follows:

  • 2 nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood
  • 5 nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood
  • 2.5 nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood, combined with a blood alcohol concentration equal to or over 50 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood

For all other drugs, any detectable trace at all is enough to face charges.

If you are convicted, the same penalties apply as for drinking and driving:

  • Criminal record
  • Minimum fine of $1,000
  • Licence lost for at least 1 year
  • Mandatory participation in the program to assess and reduce the risk of impaired driving (PERCCA)
  • Mandatory participation in the alcohol ignition interlock program
  • Prison sentence

Useful link
Drugs and Medication – What the Law Says