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Man found unconscious behind wheel of car with cannabis readily available

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20-year-old driver in Ontario now faces several charges

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A 20-year-old man in Brantford, Ont. faces impaired and drug charges after police found him at the wheel of his vehicle, unconscious and in a parking lot.

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Responding to a call at 11:30 a.m. on Aug. 15 regarding a possible impaired driver, officers located the man and his vehicle in a parking lot on Charing Cross St., according to the Brantford Police Service.

Upon looking into the vehicle and seeing the apparently unconscious man, officers “observed cannabis readily available and accessible to the driver” and that “signs of impairment were observed.”

  1. Image for representation. The man, who appeared in court this week, was found to have 6.7 micrograms of THC per litre in his blood. /

    High driver, small fine: Man ordered to pay $34 after drug driving charge

  2. The driver was charged with possession for the purpose of distribution, possession of over 30 grams of dried cannabis in a public place, possession of proceeds obtained by crime over $5,000 and driving with cannabis readily available. /

    Ontario driver charged with drug trafficking offences as OPP seize over 350 grams of cannabis

  3. Driver stopped on Aug. 4 driver on Aug. 4 was allegedly clocked at 130 kilometre/hour in the 97 km/h work zone. /

    Wanted man speeding through construction zone found with four kilograms of cannabis

Information from the Ontario government makes clear that, similar to the rules governing alcohol, “it is illegal to transport cannabis in a motorized vehicle” if it is unfastened and not in its original packaging, is not packed in baggage and is readily available to anyone in the vehicle.

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The man was arrested and a qualified officer performed a drug recognition evaluation, resulting in the evaluator opining that the driver’s “ability to operate a conveyance was impaired by drugs.”

Beyond the cannabis, a search revealed an unidentified quantity of Oxycodone pills and a small amount of suspected crystal methamphetamine.

The man has been charged with operation while impaired, three counts of possession of a Schedule 1 substance and having care or control of a vehicle with cannabis readily available. His driver’s licence was suspended and the vehicle impounded.

Surrey Criminal Lawyer reports the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act outlines a range of penalties for drug possession, depending on the nature of the drugs and whether the Crown proceeds by indictment or summarily. Schedule I includes “harder drugs such as heroin, cocaine or fentanyl, and the harshest maximum penalties,” the information notes.

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“Penalties for possession of a Schedule I drug range from six months in jail to seven years in prison, depending on the circumstances,” per information from Aitken Robertson.

A chart posted by the Ontario Court of Justice notes the fine for driving a vehicle or boat with cannabis readily available is $175.

The 20-year-old is certainly not the first person to be found with cannabis readily available, unconscious at the wheel or both.

Just last month, a 40-year-old man was arrested on several drug charges after a public tip led police to a vehicle and the apparently unconscious driver inside. Upon searching the parked vehicle and driver, officers seized cocaine, hydromorphone and almost $5,000 in cash. The find prompted six charges, including possession of cannabis for the purpose of selling.

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In 2021 in Minnesota, a driver in no apparent distress, albeit a bit worse for wear, was found asleep in his still-running truck at a Quick Mart after store staff reported he had been motionless for a long time.

After seeing evidence of drinking and smelling burnt cannabis, a sheriff’s deputy roused the 30-year-old and put him through some sobriety tests. The driver was ultimately charged with driving while impaired, having an open bottle in a vehicle and several other counts related to possessing narcotics and cannabis.

And a welfare check in Nashville back in 2020 revealed meth, cannabis and drug paraphernalia courtesy of a 24-year-old Tennessean caught snoozing in his running truck in the middle of the road.

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