New Laws For Drug Impaired Driving
October 14, 2018
Marijuana legalization is upon us with a slew of new rules and laws for drivers in Canada. This new legislation can seem a little intimidating when you’re not sure what your rights are and aren’t as a driver in Canada when it comes to recreational cannabis use. We’ve broken down this controversial topic to help you better prepare for the new laws surrounding marijuana and how it affects you as a motorist.
Marijuana affects everyone differently
Unlike alcohol, everyone reacts differently to marijuana. Whether it is smoked, eaten or inhaled, we know that it can have an effect on your ability to drive safely. There are also other variables to view when it comes to THC levels, such as how much was consumed, the weight of the user and if it’s been prescribed for medical use.
Effects of marijuana-impaired driving
Marijuana can affect your ability to drive safely, and therefore, it is still illegal to be under the influence of cannabis while driving. Here are a few ways how drug-impaired driving can impact motorists:
- Slowed reaction time
- Motor skills affected
- Driving at varying speeds and wandering between lanes
- Impaired short-term memory and concentration
- Reduced decision-making abilities or ability to deal with unexpected events.
Repercussions for impaired driving
New legislation is in place to handle people who drive while under the influence of drugs like marijuana. View the full chart for more information.
- Maximum $1,000 fine for 2 nanograms (ng) but less than 5 ng of THC per millilitre (ml) of blood
- 5 ng or more of THC or any detectable level of LSD, psilocybin, ketamine, PCP cocaine or methamphetamine, will result in mandatory minimum $1,000 fine for the first offence, 30 days in jail for a second offence and 120 days for the third offence.
- 2.5 ng or more of THC and 50 milligrams or more of alcohol will result in the same convictions as above.
Drug-impaired driving that does not cause bodily harm
- Summary conviction – 18 months’ imprisonment
- Indictment – 5 years imprisonment
Drug-impaired driving causing bodily harm
- Maximum 10 years imprisonment
Drug-impaired driving causing death
- Life imprisonment
How police protect our roads from impaired drivers
Our police across the country have come up with a couple of ways to detect if someone is driving under the influence of drugs. The main ones being the Standard Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and Drug Recognition Expert (DRE). More information about these can be found here.
Marijuana is treated the same as alcohol. If you choose to consume either, make sure you plan a safe way home. You have a multitude of options to get home safely:
- Take a cab
- Uber home
- Call a sober friend or family member
- Use a service that will drive you and your car home
- Spend the night.
Make sure you take care of yourself and those around you. Don’t drive under the influence. And if you suspect someone is driving while impaired, contact the police immediately. At Xtreme Tire Garage, we encourage all drivers to drive safely at all times!
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