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Driving and Cannabis Use

With the legalization of cannabis across Canada in October 2018 driving laws across the country were updated to include penalties for drug-impaired driving. Additionally the federal government updated the Crimincal Code of Canada to grant police officers permission to test drivers during check stops and to define the legal blood drug concentration limits for THC as 2 nanograms.

The Dangers of Driving While High

Cannabis affects people differently. It can impair the ability to drive by:

  • Slowing reaction time
  • Negatively affecting short-term memory
  • Reducing the ability to concentrate
  • Impairing ability to make decisions quickly
  • Affecting your motor skills (including causing varying speeds and wandering)

Just like when you’re drinking be sure to plan ahead and have a designated driver an alternative way home (taxi Uber public transportation walking et cetera) or a place to stay the night.

Penalties for Driving While High

If you are found to be driving while impaired you can face fines criminal charges license suspensions and jail time. Repeat offenders receive stiffer penalties and the nature of the offence may also impact the severity of the penalties.

For more information please visit the Department of Justice’s article on impaired driving laws. Provinces align with these rules but may have additional penalties.

In BC drivers convicted of drug-impaired driving will be subject to additional premiums and may be enrolled in the driver improvement program.

Your Car Insurance and Cannabis

Impaired is impaired whether it’s alcohol or cannabis. Being convicted of drug-impaired driving is a serious offence and it will impact your car insurance. This could increase your premiums or depending on the nature and number of convictions limit or prohibit your ability to be insured.