B.C. government passes legislation for drug-affected driving
In response to the Canadian legalization of cannabis on October 17, 2018, new B.C. legislation is being introduced to help keep drug-affected drivers off B.C. roads.
Legislative changes and sanctions
In effect now – New provincial sanctions associated with the three new Federal drug-impaired Criminal Code Offences
October 17 • Zero drug tolerance restriction for GLP drivers
- New review option for drug-related 24-hr roadside prohibitions
Spring 2019 New 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP) for drug-affected driving.
The B.C. government and ICBC are focused on responsibly managing this significant change that reflects the government’s goal of prioritizing public health and safety.
Federal Criminal Code offences and provincial sanctions
There are three new Federal offences for having certain levels of blood drug concentration (BDC). The penalties depend on the drug type and the levels of drug, or the combination of alcohol and drugs.
- Offences apply to all drivers, including those with a medical authorization for cannabis.
- Two of the offences are based on BDC only, while one is a combination BDC and alcohol offence.
- There is a low BDC offence, which carries a lower penalty-point amount — six points versus 10 points — and a smaller penalty up to a $1000 fine. The penalties for the two other offences are the same as for alcohol impaired driving.
- All three new criminal code offences may be subject to a driver risk premium, driver penalty points and administrative sanctions.
Zero tolerance restriction for GLP drivers
Effective October 17, 2018, a driver in the graduated licensing program (GLP) must not operate a motor vehicle while having the presence of certain drugs, including cannabis (THC), in their body.
On October 17, letters will be sent to GLP drivers
Drivers who are currently in GLP will be sent a letter advising them of the update to their driving record restrictions to include zero BDC. Distribution of the letters will start on October 17 and completed by mid-December.
GLP drivers are not required to request or obtain a new driver’s licence card, but they must comply with this new restriction on their driving record which takes effect on October 17. If they request a new licence, they’ll need to pay the applicable fee.
Find out more on the B.C. government website:
- Alcohol and drug related prohibitions and suspensions
- Driving while affected by drugs or alcohol
- B.C. Government information on cannabis
Find out more about the changes to impaired driving laws on the Government of Canada website:
- Changes to impaired driving laws (backgrounder)
- Amendments to the Criminal Code relating to drug-impaired driving and alcohol-impaired driving (Q-and-As)
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