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Injury Lawyer Insider: Marijuana & Impaired Driving

It has been one year since the legalization of marijuana in Canada. But still, a lot of people don’t know the rules when it comes to driving on the road, resulting in wrongly charged individuals, accidents and the need for a personal injury lawyer in Calgary. This guide will help answer clarity the laws for many people. 

Marijuana & Driving: The Law 

Can I drive under the influence of cannabis?

Cannabis is exactly like alcohol – it can have a severe impact on your ability to safely drive your vehicle. However, it depends on how much cannabis you have taken before you drive. If you are severely influenced by marijuana, your driving might be a risk the lives of everyone on the road, including your own. 

If you are suspected to be under the influence of cannabis, you will be tested for one aspect of the cannabis plant: tetrahydrocannabinol, better known as THC. 

THC is the main active ingredient in cannabis, and usually gives people the “high” they experience. If you are found over the legal limit of THC in your body within two hours of driving, you can be charged with a criminal offence.

What does the test require? 

Unlike testing for alcohol, which is a simple breath test, testing for cannabis is a little more time-consuming and difficult.

Firstly, the police will require a sample of saliva, where the officer will rub an oral swab over a driver’s gums, tongue and inner cheeks. It will then be inserted into a machine, which then analyzes the saliva. At the same time, police will use the Standardized Field Sobriety Test—the same routine of physical- and mental-coordination tasks to test impaired drivers. 

If you reject the test, you could be taken to a police station where you will be charged under suspicion of being high. You will probably require a DUI lawyer to help with this case. 

What are the punishments for being under the influence? 

Charges for being impaired on marijuana while driving will depend on the level of your THC. If you have: 

  • Between 2ng and 5ng (nanograms) per millimetre of blood, you can face a $1,000 fine. 
  • Above 5ng [or more than 2.5ng with a blood alcohol level of 0.05%], you can face $1,000 on your first offence, 30 days imprisonment on your second offence, or 120 days imprisonment on your third offence.

The province of Alberta states that you can also have your vehicle seized for three days, suffer a 90 days licence suspension or a one-year interlock program.  

However, if you have caused bodily harm to anyone, or caused an accident that has resulted in death, then you could face severe punishments, including jail time. Hiring a car accident lawyer will be essential to ensure that you get the right representation in court. 

Get An Injury Lawyer In Calgary To Support You 

If you have unfortunately been in an accident where the driver was impaired under marijuana, or if you have been wrongly charged with being impaired, you must speak to an injury lawyer in Calgary immediately. 

If you need help collecting compensation for an injury you’ve suffered be sure to contact Edwards Injury Law. Edwards Injury Law has successfully fought for the injured for over 25 years. Move forward with dedicated help from a personal injury lawyer, contact us today if you or someone you know has been in an accident or injured.