Now that recreational cannabis has been legalized federally, there are new laws under the Criminal Code in place related to drug-impaired driving. It’s important to note that the BC government has put strict provincial sanctions in place to address drug-impaired driving to keep these drivers off the road.
Cannabis Legalization – New Laws & Legal Limits
There are now three new Criminal Code offences that establish the legal blood drug concentration limits (BDC) for THC. This means if you have two (2) nanograms or more of THC in your system while operating a motor vehicle, you are committing an offence.
Additionally, the more THC you have in your system, and the more times you are caught breaking the law, the punishment escalates (especially if mixed with alcohol).
Cannabis and Motor Vehicles
- Cannabis being transported in a vehicle must be kept in a sealed package or in a location inaccessible to motor vehicle occupants
- No cannabis use in any form is allowed while occupying a vehicle
- For those drivers in a graduated licensing program, (L or N) there is a zero tolerance restriction for the presence of cannabis while operating a motor vehicle. Violating this restriction will result in a suspension of driving privileges.
- Social hosts may be legally liable for guests who use cannabis in their home and subsequently injure others or themselves (such as a motor vehicle accident.)
- If an officer suspects drug impairment, the driver may be subject to a drug recognition evaluation by a specialized Drug Recognition Expert (DRE).
The dangers of driving impaired do not change because “it’s just cannabis.” Driving and Cannabis Legalization
The possibility of serious personal injury or even fatalities caused by driving impaired are well documented in British Columbia – and despite the believed “lesser” impairment from cannabis use, the potential dangers are the same.
According to Stats Canada:
- 1.4 million of Canadians reported having been a passenger in a motor vehicle driven by someone who consumed cannabis within the previous two hours.
- 1-in-7 cannabis users reported having driven within 2 hours of using cannabis
If you plan to consume cannabis, be sure that you have taken responsible steps to prevent possible accidents or injury:
- Know how cannabis affects you and know your limits
- If consuming cannabis makes you too tired or distracted, don’t use it.
- Don’t drive or operate a vehicle when impaired.
- Plan ahead and ask a friend to be your designated driver if you need it.
- Always have a local taxi number logged in your phone.
- Familiarize yourself with public transit routes and schedule times.
Let Our Experience Work for You
If you have found yourself the victim of an impaired driving accident, whether you or a family member has been seriously injured or suffered a tragic death, you have the right to pursue legal action against the responsible party and receive monetary compensation. Contact our trusted team at Tim Louis & Company Law today to learn more about the options available to you at 604-732-7678 or email email@example.com.