The Saskatchewan government is staying ahead of the game when it comes to the legalization of cannabis next July.
On Tuesday, Minister Responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave rose in the Saskatchewan Legislature to introduce legislation on zero tolerance drug impaired driving.
It is the first step announced by the province as they work toward provincial legislation.
When the new legislation is passed, a driver charged with one of three new Criminal Code Charges under federal Bill C-46 will also face administrative charges under the Traffic Safety Act.
Consequences could be an immediate drivers license suspension until the court has disposed of the charge, or a 30-day vehicle seizure or 60-day seizure if the person is also impaired by alcohol and has a blood alcohol level over .16.
The province says in addition to jail time or fines, driving suspensions and other sanctions imposed by the courts, a Criminal Code conviction may result in the following consequences from SGI:
- Minimum one-year driving suspension to a max of five years;
- Penalties ranging from $1,250 to $2,500 under the Safe Driver Recognition program through SGI; and
- A requirement to complete prescribed education programs, as applicable, depending on the number of previous convictions.
In a news release Minister responsible Joe Hargrave said, “Our government is sending a clear message, while cannabis may soon be legal, driving under the influence is illegal, dangerous to public safety, and will be dealt with harshly.”
Impaired driving is the number one killer on Saskatchewan’s roadways, the federal government is aiming to make cannabis legal on July 1, 2018.