Pubdate: Wed, 02 Jul 2008
Source: Barrie Advance, The (CN ON)
Copyright: 2008 Metroland Printing, Publishing and Distributing
Author: Janis Ramsay


Potheads behind the wheel can't take off like a puff of smoke from 
police anymore.

A new Ontario law went into effect this week. OPP Const. Pam Higham 
said the law lets officers do a roadside physical co-ordination test. 
Blood, urine or saliva samples can then be done at a police station 
or hospital.

Anyone who refuses can be charged, just like drivers who refuse an 
alcohol Breathalyzer. The minimum fine for not providing a sample is 
$1,000 for a first offence.

Before this week, officers had to tell suspected drugged drivers the 
roadside tests weren't mandatory. Smelling marijuana wasn't enough to 
lay a charge, and a driver could refuse a test without consequence.

The new law includes illegal, prescription and over-the-counter drugs.

Higham said the new law will help get more impaired drivers off the 
road, and Barrie Police Sgt. Dave Goodbrand added it would help stop 
impaired driving.

"A new law takes time to utilize in an effective manner," said 
Goodbrand. "But it gives us more powers to address the issue of 
unsafe roads, especially in relation to drugs."
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