The Legal Limit for Driving High in Canada
Although marijuana has been legalised in Canada, it is still illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs. Just like having alcohol in your system, there is a limit to which the police and the law consider safe, which is next to none. Although traces may be allowed, it’s in your best interest not to drive high at all.
While most people know the limit for driving when it comes to drinking, a lot of us don’t know the legal limit for marijuana. It’s also important to keep in mind that, like alcohol, it is up to the police officer who has stopped you to decide what “too much” is. Even if you have a blood concentration that’s below the legal limit, you can still face impaired driving charges.
Contacting an impaired driving lawyer is always an important step if you’re facing a DUI or impaired driving charges. Knowing the legal limit is another. Here, we will outline the stats, the numbers, and the bottom line when it comes to driving high in Canada.
The bottom line
In Canada, it is illegal to drive with a blood concentration of more than 2 nanograms (ng) of THC per millilitre (ml) of blood within two hours of being tested. This is the equivalent of 0.5 micrograms (ug) per litre (L) of whole blood. To compare these numbers to the legal limit for alcohol, the ratios are 80 mg of alcohol per 100 mL of blood, which is 0.08%.
The consequences for driving with a THC concentration above the legal limit are the same as those for driving with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) above the legal limit. The first offence can result in a fine of up to $1000, a mandatory driver’s licence suspension of up to one year, and up to six months in jail. A second offence can result in a fine of up to $2000, a mandatory driver’s licence suspension of up to two years, and up to one year in jail.
Under the legal limit? You could still face charges
It is important to note that even if your THC concentration is below 2 ng/mL, you may still be impaired and subject to criminal charges. The police can charge you with impaired driving if they have reasonable grounds to believe that your ability to drive has been affected by cannabis or any other drug.
This is where the concept of impaired driving comes in. While a DUI indicates that you are under the influence of drugs or alcohol, impaired driving can have a much broader meaning. If your THC concentration is low, you can still be susceptible to an impaired driving charge because this means the law feels you are mentally unsuitable to drive.
Impaired driving can also include those suffering from depression, disease, or who are causing any kind of danger to other people on the road. It’s important to speak with your impaired driving lawyer – they can help you understand what the charges mean, what your case qualifies as, and how to navigate the concerns you have.
In short, it is illegal to drive with a blood concentration of more than 2 nanograms (ng) of THC per millilitre (ml) of blood within two hours of being tested. If you are caught driving with a THC concentration above the legal limit, you will face the same penalties as if you were caught driving with a blood alcohol concentration above the legal limit.
Penalties for driving while high can include fines, jail time, and mandatory driver’s licence suspensions. Even if your THC concentration is low, you may still be impaired and subject to criminal charges.
If you aren’t sure what your charges mean, or what you are being faced with when accused of a DUI or impaired driving due to operating a vehicle while high, it’s imperative that you contact a criminal lawyer – they will be able to help steer you in the right direction, and maybe even reduce or drop the sentence you are facing.
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