Cannabis and Driving

Driving while impaired by any drug, including cannabis, is illegal. Drivers who have used cannabis are up to six times more likely to get into a motor vehicle collision than drivers who are not impaired.

What are the rules on driving and cannabis?

Impaired driving by any drug, including cannabis, is illegal. If you fail a standard field sobriety test, you could face provincial and criminal charges and fines. There will be additional charges and fines if you drive impaired with a minor in the car.

You can not drive any vehicle while consuming cannabis. When you are driving, cannabis must be out of reach to the driver. Cannabis can't be used by passengers either. 

How will police detect cannabis impaired driving?

Police officers are being trained to conduct roadside assessments and more police officers are being trained as drug recognition experts.

Once approved oral screening devices that detect the presence of cannabis become available, they will be another tool for law enforcement in enforcing the rules on impaired driving.

Will an adult be able to consume cannabis in a boat or motor vehicle?

No. However, exceptions do apply for boats and motor vehicles that qualify as private dwellings when docked. 

Will an adult be able to transport cannabis in a boat or motor vehicle?

Yes. The laws for transporting cannabis are similar to those in place for transporting liquor.

What are the consequences if a person is caught driving while impaired by drugs?

An impaired driver will be subject to criminal charges under the Criminal Code of Canada as well as other penalties under the Highway Traffic Act.

What enforcement tools have been made available to law enforcement to address drug impaired driving?

We are working with the Government of Canada to provide equipment and training to law enforcement officials so they are well-equipped to identify drug impaired drivers.

Is there a certain limit I can smoke to be legally allowed to drive? 

Impaired driving by any drug, including cannabis, is illegal.

Police officers are trained to detect impairment. If you fail a standard field sobriety test, a drug recognition expert will be called and if this officer detects impairment, you could face provincial and federal charges and fines.

The Government of Canada to working with provincial governments to provide equipment and training to law enforcement officials with respect to identifying drug impaired drivers. There will be additional charges and fines if you drive impaired with a minor in the car. You can’t drive any vehicle while consuming cannabis. When you are driving, cannabis must be inaccessible to the driver.

Are police officers actually equipped to detect cannabis impaired drivers?

Yes. If you fail a standard field sobriety test, a drug recognition expert will be called and if this officer detects impairment, you could face provincial and federal charges and fines.

If we do not have an oral screening device, will impaired drivers be able to get away with driving high?

No.  The federal legislation enables convictions based on the assessment of a Drug Recognition Officer (DRE) officer.  Although there is currently no approved oral screening device for cannabis, the federal government is studying two oral fluid screening devices for use in Canada. Once approved oral screening devices become available, this will be another tool for law enforcement in enforcing the rules on impaired driving. In the meantime, the current laws and enforcement tools allow officers to assess impairment, gather evidence, and lay charges.  For cannabis impairment, the drug recognition expert can ask you for a blood sample to confirm the level of the drug in your system. 

What are the fines in place for being impaired by cannabis when driving?

Driving while impaired will lead to the similar fines and charges as drunk driving. Know the consequences of impaired driving.

Contact:

Provincial cannabis committee
Email: cannabis@gov.pe.ca

The Government of Canada is working to legalize, regulate and restrict access to cannabis. Until the new system is in place, it is illegal to buy, sell or produce cannabis for non-medical purposes.
Published date: 
March 26, 2018
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