MEDICINE HAT, AB — With cannabis set to be legal on October 17, provinces have been working to amend their impaired driving laws to include cannabis.
The laws vary from province to province.
In Alberta, the provincial government has listed the penalties for driving while high. For the first offence, drivers who are found to be driving while high will receive an immediate 90-day licence suspension and will immediately have their vehicles seized for three days.
Drivers will also have to participate in a mandatory driving course, pay a $1,000 fine, and participate in an ignition interlock program for one year.
For the second offence, the licence will be immediately suspended for 90 days, and there will be mandatory imprisonment for 30 days. Drivers will also have to participate in the driving course and the ignition interlock program.
The third offence will see drivers imprisoned for 120 days, in addition to the mandatory driving course and interlock program participation.
In Saskatchewan, a first offence for driving while high results in a three-day licence suspension, a mandatory driving course, and your vehicle will be impounded for three days, according to the province’s driver’s licensing and vehicle registration agency.
If a driver is charged, their licence will be suspended until the court has disposed of the charge, and their vehicle will be seized for 30 days, with drivers responsible for towing fees. If a driver is also impaired by alcohol and has a blood alcohol concentration of 0.16, the vehicle seizure will last 60 days.
If convicted, drivers will be fined between $1,250 and $2,500, be forced to take a mandatory driving course, and will receive a minimum one-year driving suspension. The suspension can be in place for a maximum of five years, according to the registry.
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