Charlie Gillis just posted an article on Maclean's called "Is Canada ready to deal with stoned drivers?" that tackles the issue of impaired driving by drugs, especially marijuana because of the Federal Liberal Government's position on legalizing recreational marijuana use in 2017.
A large portion of the article focused on a case from Winnipeg, R. v. Manaigre, 2015 MBPC 26, where the Honourable Judge Devine of the Provincial Court of Manitoba articulated a thorough decision on how a Drug Recognition Expert conducts tests on suspected impaired drivers and the shortcomings of these tests. Primary, some parts of the test identify consumption of marijuana and not necessarily impairment. At para. 81, the Court wrote
Several of the tests sound complicated and very difficult to perform. I suspect they might well challenge the balance of many completely sober people.
I spoke with Mr. Gillis and voiced some of my concerns about both having impaired drivers on the road (be it from alcohol, drugs, or a combination of both) and also finding a fair and appropriate way of testing the impairment of drivers where the officer suspects the driver has consumed drugs.
- Is Marijuana Use Impaired Driving? (MichaelDyck.ca)
- Are you guilty? (MichaelDyck.ca)
- What is the sentencing range for an impaired driving conviction (TomRees.ca)
- Common questions about driving impaired charges and DUIs (TomRees.ca)
About the author
Michael Dyck is a partner at Rees & Dyck Criminal Defence. He represents clients primarily from Winnipeg, Steinbach, and rural Manitoba. He has extensive experience helping people charged with criminal offences and focuses on building legal strategy with clients. To read more of his articles, please visit his partner's website TomRees.ca.