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Traffic Safety in Alberta 

Drugged driving is Impaired driving


Hard facts about drug impaired driving

  • In 2015, nearly half of all 24 hour licence suspensions were due to drug impairment.

  • A recent Canadian study of alcohol and drug use among drivers found that drug use in nighttime drivers exceeded that of alcohol use. In Canada, studies indicate that drugs are found in up to 40 per cent of fatally injured drivers (TIRF).

  • In Alberta, 21 people were killed and 305 people were injured in drug-involved casualty collisions (2010-2014).

  • A growing body of research suggests that marijuana use — particularly chronic use — can negatively affect mental and physical health, brain function (memory, attention and thinking) and driving performance (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse).

  • About 16 per cent of 15–24 year olds in Canada report riding as a passenger with a driver who has smoked cannabis within the previous two hours (Canadian Centre on Substance Abuse).

  • In Canada, cannabis and depressant drugs each accounted for 29 per cent of all drug evaluations conducted in 2013 (International Association of Chiefs of Police, 2014).

The consequences of drug impaired driving:

  • Driving while impaired by drugs and refusing to comply with a demand for physical sobriety tests or to provide bodily fluid samples is a criminal offence.

  • Drivers who are pulled over on suspicion of drug impairment may be asked to complete a Standardized Field Sobriety Test, which checks for divided attention impairment. This test gives an officer reasonable and probable grounds to then ask for a drug recognition investigation.

Learn more on Alberta’s Administrative Licence Suspension.

Read more information about impaired driving prevention in Alberta.

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Last Updated July 29, 2016