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Charges for Driving While Impaired by Drugs Increase for the Fourth Year in a Row


August 6, 20220 from Western Standard

According to an article published by Blacklock’s Reporter, the number of people caught high behind the wheel is up for the fourth year in a row. StatsCanada data also showed police reported 7,690 incidents of drug-impaired driving violations in 2021. This is compared to the 7,621 incidents reported in 2020. In 2018, Parliament legalized recreational marijuana use and 6,573 violations were reported.

Aside from drug-impaired driving violations, other marijuana crimes also increased in 2021 according to analysts. The report stated that “nationally the rate of police-reported cannabis offences under the Cannabis Act and Controlled Drugs And Substances Act increased for the first time in nine years, rising 5% in 2021”.

Bill C-46, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code, was also passed when marijuana was legalized. This Bill permitted random roadside testing of driving, with a threat of $1000 fines for a failed test. In 2018, StatsCanada’s Centre for Justice Statistics stated in a testimony that it could not forecast the impact of legalization on impaired driving.

A report by The Department of Public Safety said that marijuana had become a “major contributor” to fatal road accidents. The report also contributed drug-impaired driving as a reason for fatal road crashes, saying that young people are still the largest group of drivers who die in car crashes and test positive for drugs.