St. Albert, Alberta – Serious accidents can easily happen when you drive while impaired by a drug, regardless of the quantity or the purpose of using it. The Alberta RCMP would like to remind the public that getting behind the wheel while impaired by drugs is not only dangerous, it’s against the law.
“Cannabis affects everyone differently,” says Constable Mike Hibbs, “K” Division Media Relations. “There is no safe limit for drivers who are recreational cannabis users or medicinal users since everyone has a different body tolerance for drugs.”
Drug-impaired driving laws apply to all drivers, including those with a medical authorization for cannabis. The new law is consistent with the Criminal Code’s long-standing drug-impaired driving offence which has never exempted drivers who drive impaired by prescription drugs.
Different drugs act on your brain in different ways, but almost all affect your attention, judgment, reaction time, decision-making skills and more. If you choose to use cannabis, choose not to drive.
Here’s what you need to know to keep roads and public spaces safe for everyone:
- Cannabis consumption is banned in vehicles. Provincial laws have established a number of consequences when cannabis is consumed in a vehicle, including fines and other administrative penalties to discourage and reduce the incidents of impaired driving.
- Keep cannabis out of reach. When cannabis is in a car, it must be secured in closed packaging and not within reach of any occupants.
- Prescription drugs can impair a person’s ability to safely control a moving vehicle. When taking prescription drugs, it is vital to follow doctors’ orders against operating any machinery, for a certain time after taking them. Talk with your doctor about the effects of your prescriptions and how they can react with other substances.
- Know your local rules before consuming. Albertans are allowed to consume cannabis in their homes and in some public spaces. Municipalities have the power to create additional restrictions on public use.
When motorists follow safe driving practices, such as planning ahead and arranging a designated driver, the risk of being involved in a collision resulting in death and injury are significantly lower. The Alberta RCMP will continue to positively impact the safety of those travelling on roads through public education and strategic enforcement plans.
Alberta Cannabis Framework and legislation
Alberta’s approach to impaired driving
Traffic Safety Act amendment to address drug-impaired driving
Federal Impaired Driving Laws – Department of Justice