Many illegal drugs and some prescription drugs can impair a person’s ability to operate a motor vehicle. It is a criminal offence to drive while your ability to operate a motor vehicle is impaired by a drug. The criminal consequences of impaired driving are the same for drugs as they are for alcohol.
Some people hold the mistaken view that it is safe to operate a motor vehicle after smoking marijuana. The statistics prove otherwise. A study of over 3,000 fatal crashes has shown that drivers who had consumed marijuana were much more likely to be at fault for the accident. The more marijuana consumed, the more likely the driver was to be at fault.
The Criminal Code empowers the police to determine if a driver is impaired by drugs. If a police officer suspects a driver to be impaired by drugs he or she can conduct a Standardized Field Sobriety Test. If the driver fails that test he or she must submit to a mandatory Drug Evaluation, which includes providing a bodily fluid sample.
If a drug impaired driver causes a collision where someone is hurt, the driver is exposed to both criminal sanctions and civil liability. An impaired driver who seriously injures an innocent person will be sued. The innocent victim is entitled to recover all of his or her economic losses in the lawsuit.
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