1.0 Executive Summary

In 2018, Parliament enacted former Bill C-46, An Act to amend the Criminal Code (offences relating to conveyances) and to make consequential amendments to other Acts, S.C. 2018, c. 21 (hereinafter referred to as “the Act”) to create new and stronger laws to combat impaired driving.

The Act introduced a robust drug-impaired driving regime to coincide with the legalization of cannabis, as well as reformed the Criminal Code alcohol-impaired driving regime to create a new, modern, simplified and more coherent system to better deter, detect, and prosecute impaired drivers. The Act was introduced with an ultimate objective of reducing deaths and injuries caused by impaired drivers on Canadian roads. The Act came into force in two stages: the drug-impaired driving amendments came into force on Royal Assent on June 21, 2018 and the more comprehensive reform which was a complete repeal and replacement of the transportation regime came into force on December 18, 2018.

The Act requires the Minister of Justice to undertake a comprehensive review of the implementation and operation of the provisions enacted and table a report in both Houses of Parliament.. The review must also include an evaluation of whether the implementation and operation of the Act has resulted in differential treatment of any particular group based on a prohibited ground of discrimination.

In support of the legislative changes, in 2017 the Government also announced $161 million in federal funding to support the new drug-impaired driving regime (the funding initiative). The funding initiative was targeted towards training for frontline officers to detect drug-impaired drivers, building law enforcement capacity, providing access to the newly approved drug screening equipment (ADSE), as well as policy, research, and public awareness activities around drug-impaired driving.

This report draws from multiple existing data sources, which provides national coverage of the extent of alcohol and drug-impaired driving. The report also includes findings from research projects commissioned by the Department of Justice in 2020 to support the legislative review. Data presented in this report cover both the period prior to the coming into force of the Act (2016-2018), as well as post coming into force (2019-2021). The report uses all available data, although the data does not assess every individual amendment. Therefore, the data presented in this report serve as a baseline for some aspects of the Act, as well as a preliminary assessment of other elements of the impaired driving regime introduced under the Act. To gain a broader understanding of the implementation and impact of the Act, further research and data collection would be required over a longer timeframe.

The data presented in this report support the following high-level conclusions:

Road safety and self-reported behaviour and awareness data

Criminal justice system

Racial profiling