Whether you’re driving drunk or high, you will face the same consequences.
Alcohol, drugs, distraction, and fatigue can all result in impaired driving. Ask yourself if it’s worth the risk. If you plan on drinking, also plan a safe way home – call a taxi, take transit, or have a friend drive you. Have fun, but don’t drive if you’re drunk or high.
Legislation that updates impaired driving laws in Canada has been passed by the federal government. This includes the introduction of three new cannabis and cannabis/alcohol blood concentration limits. The new cannabis limits work the same way as .08 blood concentration does for alcohol. If you are found driving over the limits, you are considered impaired behind the wheel.
Facts to Know:
- In 2017, almost half of all 24 hour licence suspensions in Alberta were due to drug impairment.
- The Traffic Injury Research Foundation determined that, in 2013, of Alberta drivers killed in collisions, more than one in four were over the legal limit for alcohol, and one in two had used drugs.
- On average, 7,550 people were convicted of impaired driving in Alberta each year for the last five years. Impaired Driving convictions are highest for young drivers aged 21-24.
- A study by the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction, reports that cannabis creates performance deficits in many skills required to drive safely, such as tracking, reaction time, visual function, concentration, short-term memory and divided attention.
- Simulated and on-road studies of driving performance found using cannabis increased a driver's likelihood of swerving,as well as showed an inability to maintain a safe distance and difficulty controlling speed.
- Alberta is slightly above the national average for drugged driving at 55 per cent. 112 drivers killed in collisions during 2013 tested positive for drugs.
- There is a common misunderstanding that driving after using cannabis is safer than driving after consuming alcohol.
- Another misconception is about the police’s ability to detect impairment for drug use. Our goal is to debunk the myth’s around drug impaired driving.
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.
Learn about the current status of cannabis laws in Canada.
Read about the changes to the Traffic Safety Act related to impaired driving.