Province introduces amendments to Traffic Safety Act to address pending marijuana legalization

By CHAT News Today
November 14, 2017 - 4:30pm

EDMONTON – The provincial government is introducing an amendment to the Traffic Safety Act in an attempt to reduce impaired driving once marijuana becomes legal next year.

The amendment was introduced in the legislature today and will include several new measures.

Under the proposed legislation, there will be zero tolerance for cannabis, cannabis and alcohol combination and illegal drugs for drivers in the graduated driver’s licensing program.

The measures also include expanded provincial administrative sanctions for drivers with a blood drug concentration or a blood drug/alcohol concentration over the new criminal limits proposed by the federal government. The sanctions would be the same as those imposed on drivers found to be criminally impaired by alcohol.

The province is also proposing a 90-day fixed-term licence suspension for drivers found over federal criminal limits. Following the suspension, drivers can participate in a one-year ignition interlock program to have their licence reinstated. If they decline to participate, their licence will remain suspended for a year.

If the amendments pass, the 90 day suspension followed by the ignition interlock will take effect February 1, while the cannabis-related amendments will be proclaimed and become law when federal cannabis legislation is in place.

The federal government has said marijuana will become legal on July 1, 2018.

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