New drug-impaired driving legislation by the federal government will mean tough consequences for Saskatchewan drivers.

On Tuesday, The Miscellaneous Vehicle and Driving Statutes (Cannabis Legislation) Amendment Act, 2017, was introduced in the Saskatchewan Legislature in preparation for these changes. The provincial amendment addresses how the Saskatchewan government will enforce impaired driving when marijuana is legalized.

“It’s important for people to remember that in Saskatchewan it is currently and will continue to be illegal to drive while impaired – whether by drugs or alcohol,” Minister Responsible for SGI Joe Hargrave said in a news release.

“That is not changing, even when personal cannabis use becomes legal in July.”

The three new federal changes to impaired driving charges are expected to be in place by mid-December. Once the bill receives Royal Assent, police can immediately lay the new Criminal Code charges.

Updating the current provincial legislation means Saskatchewan’s zero-tolerance regulations will apply to anyone charged under the new federal laws. According to the province, implementing a zero-tolerance approach means drivers should not get behind the wheel with any level of impairing drugs in their system that is detectable by a federally approved screening device.

The federal legislation also gives police in the province new tools to detect drug-impaired drivers.