Toronto Police say that in 2018, 1116 people were arrested for impaired driving related offences.
And now, impaired drivers will be impacted by new legislation that came into effect this week.
As of January 1, those who are caught using a hand-held device, such as a cell phone, while driving will be fined up to $1,000.
Up to this year, the maximum fine for a contravention of the act was $500.
Those caught will also receive a three-day licence suspension and three demerit points.
Fines will double if there’s a second conviction within five years, and they’ll triple if there’s a third.
2018 raised the #ImpairedDriving conversation with the introduction of cannabis legalization and mandatory alcohol screening. In 2018 @TorontoPolice arrested 1116 people 4 Imp Driving related offences. Imp Driving is a choice and should be considered a crime in progress #911 ^bm pic.twitter.com/g87Ibfc4RE
— TPS Traffic Services (@TrafficServices) January 2, 2019
Those with a G1 or a G2 licence will have even stricter rules: They may face a 30-day licence suspension after their first offence and a 90-day suspension after their second. If there’s a third offence, their licence could be cancelled.
There will also be increased fines for impaired driving and failing to yield for pedestrians at crosswalks and signalized intersections.
New regulations also allow law enforcement to demand a breathalyzer test from drivers, even without reasonable suspicion that they have consumed alcohol. Refusal to submit a breath sample could lead to a criminal offence and a mandatory minimum $2,000 fine.
Here’s a full look at the penalties for impaired driving under the new laws:
According to the federal government, impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada.
In 2017, there were more than 69,000 impaired driving incidents reported by the police, including almost 3,500 drug-impaired driving incidents.
With files from Kayla Gladysz and Ainsley Smith