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Toronto lawyers dedicated to helping people charged with impaired driving

What drugs are illegal to take and drive in Canada?

In Canada it is a criminal offence to drive or be in care and control of any motor vehicle while impaired by alcohol or drugs as per CC s. 320.14 (1)(a). Theoretically any drug could meet this definition including over the counter and prescription medications.

In addition to this very broad criminalization of any form of drug impairment, the Criminal Code and the Blood Drug Concentration Regulations criminalizes driving under the influence of certain drugs at specific blood concentration levels. As of 2022, the listed drugs along with their lowest illegal blood concentration limits (it is illegal to be at or over the amount specified) in Canada are as follows:
  1. Alcohol: 80 mg/100 ml
  2. THC/cannabis: 2 ng/ml of blood
  3. Gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB): 5 mg/L of blood
  4. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): any detectable level
  5. Psilocin & Psilocybin (magic mushrooms/shrooms): any detectable level
  6. Phencyclidine (PCP): any detectable level
  7. 6-Monoacetylmorphine (morphine, codeine, heroin): any detectable level
  8. Ketamine: any detectable level
  9. Cocaine: any detectable level
  10. Methamphetamine (crystal meth, MDMA, ecstasy): any detectable level
Other, unlisted drugs can still be used to support dui charges and convictions

While 3 of these (alcohol, THC, and GHB) have limits greater than 0 it is important to reiterate that you can still be charged and convicted of impaired driving with lower than the listed amounts in your bloodstream. This is because the law criminalizes simply driving while impaired -and separately also- driving while being at or over the listed drug concentration levels. This is the reason why the police will charge people with both impaired driving -and- driving while over 80 in alcohol DUI cases.

If the Crown Attorney is unable to prove the over 80 they can still rely on their other evidence (video, DRE exam, officer notes) that the person was impaired. This of course is subjective and ultimately up to the judge to decide which is why many cases are challenged in court at trial.

Being high on drugs that are not specifically listed can still result in charges and a conviction because CC s. 320.14 (1)(a) does not only include the drugs listed in the Code and Regulations. You can be charged for being impaired by prescription drugs or even over the counter (OTC) medications. It also includes other less known recreational drugs such as khat and poppers.

In drug DUI cases, blood testing may be unavailable, improperly (illegally) obtained, inconclusive or undetectable which can help the accused’s defence lawyer beat the charges.

Blood testing itself is not as reliable as people think. Further, a lot of times the accused gives the police reasonable grounds to demand a blood sample by talking to them and openly admitting to what they took. By telling the police that you took X or were just following your doctor’s orders you are opening the door to further probing. In some cases the accused probably would have been let go had they not said anything.

The police often first suspect alcohol impairment and may choose to let the driver be on their way if they blow under 80. People may volunteer information about their drug use to the police because they are nervous, think they haven’t broken the law, or wrongly believe that “doing the right thing” will help them. In reality they are talking themselves into being charged and possibly convicted.

Catching and criminally charging drug impaired drivers is a huge priority for all Ontario police forces

Police in Ontario take pride in catching and charging people for DUIs. It is considered to be excellent police work to have the accused admit to their crimes even if they are tricked into doing so (in a way that does not offend the community).

Sometimes the arguably overzealous nature of the police to press impaired driving charges leads them to cut corners in their investigation. They may gather evidence in a way that is not consistent with the accused’s Charter rights such as conducting illegal searches and blood sample/breath demands. It can also lead them to misconstrue behavior and wrongly accuse people of driving while impaired particularly if admissions are made regarding -some- drug use at the roadside or police station.

All forms of DUI are mandatory minimum sentence offences in Canada. All first time offenders will receive a criminal record if convicted that will show up on even the most basic background checks. Those with priors will receive automatic mandatory minimum jail sentences if they are found guilty.


Call us today.

You don't have to jeopardize your future or waste thousands of dollars on excessive legal fees. We provide effective and affordable lawyer representation for those charged with impaired driving offences throughout Ontario.

Have a skilled criminal lawyer who focuses on impaired driving related charges protect you and your future from the stigma and consequences of a criminal record.


    call us: 647-228-5969

    contact@duifix.ca


  call us: 647-228-5969

  contact@duifix.ca

Your case will be defended by a fully licensed Practicing Lawyer of the Law Society of Ontario. For more information about our lawyer, click here.

We provide our clients with:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • US travel advice and information
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • Clear goals of getting charges dropped and bail conditions varied without a trial
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Experienced, focused counsel


* Please note:

If you are not a paying client, we cannot answer questions and provide assistance with U.S. travel, immigration, employment background checks, and avoiding a criminal record. This includes those who have already retained other counsel and those whose cases have already been completed.

Are you a lawyer? If you are defending an impaired driving related case and are looking for expert advice regarding possible defences, case strategies, and information release management call us at: 647-228-5969.

Please note: We do not accept legal aid certificate cases. All clients are handled on a private retainer only.


 

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  We provide:
  • Flat fee pricing
  • 99%+ non-conviction success rate
  • U.S. travel advice and information
  • Help with related immigration issues
  • Employment background check advice/services
  • Fingerprints and records destruction services
  • A clear goal of getting the charges dropped without a trial
  • Vulnerable Sector records suppression help
  • Timely resolutions
  • Lawyer/client privilege
  • Experienced, focused counsel