Cannabis Legalization and Ontario Drivers
What does it mean for Ontario Drivers?
As of October 17th, 2018 the federal government of Canada will change the rules surrounding the legal use of cannabis. If you are a resident of Ontario and a driver, there will be new rules and regulations concerning the use of cannabis and driving.
Cannabis and Driving
Cannabis slows down your reaction time. Using cannabis and driving will be illegal and if you are under the influence of the drug and caught by a police officer you could be charged with Impaired Driving or other serious convictions. Failure to comply with the required testing could also result in criminal charges which carry the same penalty as driving while impaired.
Other consequences may be:
- Immediate license suspension
- Vehicle impoundment
- Financial penalty or fine
- Possible jail time
The ‘Zero Tolerance’ Rule which is applied for alcohol also applies to cannabis. You will not be allowed any cannabis in your system if:
- You are under the age of 21
- You have a G1, G2, M1, M2 license
- The vehicle you drive is a commercially rated vehicle or a road building machine
Cannabis vs. Auto Insurance
Under FSCO guidelines an auto insurance provider can void an insurance policy as well as deny coverage if you are involved in an accident while under the influence of cannabis. Although cannabis itself will no longer be deemed illegal, the consumption of it while operating a motor vehicle will be.
An insurer can decline to pay for loss or damage as well as limit Accident Benefit coverages caused in an accident due to being impaired. The insurance company would likely view this as illegal use of the vehicle with you being unable to maintain proper control of an automobile while under the influence of intoxicating substances. You can visit the FSCO website for more information regarding auto insurance in Ontario.
If you are a recreational or medicinal user of cannabis it’s up to you to make sure you are not breaking any laws. If you have auto insurance related questions you can speak directly with your insurance broker.