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Ontario introduces fines, licence suspensions for drug-impaired driving

Traffic exits the eastbound Gardiner Expressway at the Yonge St. exit in Toronto on June 29, 2015.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Police in Ontario will soon be able to suspend the licences of drug-impaired drivers, with the same penalties that drunk drivers face.

Starting on Sunday, drivers impaired by drug use will face a $180 fine, and a licence suspension of three days for the first occurrence, then seven days for the second time and 30 days for subsequent ones after failing roadside physical co-ordination tests.

Further testing of bodily fluids could lead to a 90-day licence suspension and drivers having their vehicle impounded for a week.

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Other penalties could include mandatory education or treatment programs or an ignition interlock.

Drivers could still be charged criminally with impaired driving, but Ontario is implementing these new rules to give police more tools to immediately get impaired drivers off the roads.

Criminal convictions for impaired driving come with sentences of up to five years.

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