Stronger penalties for drug-impaired drivers and for impaired drivers who transport children will come into effect September 1, SGI announced Thursday.

“It’s never OK to drive impaired, whether it’s by drugs or alcohol,” minister responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave said in a news release.

“This new legislation reflects the seriousness of this offence, with more severe punishments for drug-impaired drivers, and those who make the bad decision to drive with children in the vehicle.”

The province has also updated legislation and regulations so that tough administrative penalties that impaired drivers in Saskatchewan faced under existing legislation will also apply to anyone charged under three new federal drug-impaired driving laws.

Penalties include:

Drug-Impaired Driving

  • Zero tolerance for all drivers
  • Immediate licence suspension
  • Vehicle seized for up to 60 days
  • Licence suspension for up to 5 years if convicted

Impaired Drivers with Passengers Under 16

  • Vehicle seized for up to 60 days
  • Licence suspended for up to 120 days
  • Licence suspension up to 18 months for new drivers

SGI says regardless if a drug is legal or not, if it impairs your ability to drive safely, don’t get behind the wheel.

Prescription and over-the-counter drugs can also make you impaired, and combining drugs with alcohol increases impairment, SGI says.

The Traffic Safety (Miscellaneous) Amendment Act 2017 and The Miscellaneous Vehicle and Driving Statutes (Cannabis Legislation) Amendment Act, 2017 were both passed in the Spring sitting of the Legislature.