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Impaired Driving Consequences

Can Cannabis really effect your driving?



Impaired is Impaired

Public Safety Canada, surveyed Canadians who had driven while impaired.

  • 25% insisted that driving under the influence of cannabis was much safer than driving after consuming alcohol.

The National Transportation Safety Board is adamant that there is a significant increase in drug-impaired drivers on American roads. It asserts that we must do something as soon as possible.

  • The truth is: any substance that alters your state of mind diminishes your ability to react to emergencies or sudden unexpected changes in traffic, weather, or road conditions


Driving Sober

  • THC and Alcohol affect your Central Nervous System differently.

  • Combining alcohol and THC, more than triples the risk of impairment*

  • ( see next slide from the American Association of Clinical Chemistry )

BOTH substances can affect your attention, reaction time, coordination, balance, fine motor, and decision-making skills.

( Things that are kind of important for driving if you want to arrive alive! )

Combining Alcohol with THC

  • A study by the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) found that combining alcohol with cannabis increases THC levels in your blood.

  • It discovered that using weed increased the risk of a fatal accident by 70%

  • The risk was 740% greater when you use alcohol, and. . .

  • 840% greater when drivers combine alcohol with marijuana.


Pot while Driving...
it’s NO BIG DEAL right?

Past generations did not think that driving drunk was such a big deal. The fatality and injury statistics
were overwhelming for decades, until tough laws were enforced.

Unfortunately too many people today also believe that Marijuana ( and edibles ) are a safer alternative to drinking
while driving.

Post Mortem Toxicology Screening

  • Cannabis in all forms is second only to alcohol as the most prevalent substance found among drivers who die in traffic crashes in North America.

  • Post-mortem toxicology screening during an autopsy can detect several classes of drugs such as opiates, amphetamines, marijuana, alcohol and barbiturates.

  • If a substance is detected , forensic scientists confirm the results by running more tests, which can take several more days and might have to be repeated to ensure accuracy.

  • If you are suspected of impairment as a vehicle operator you can safely assume that you will be ordered to submit to a breathalyzer test, field drug test OR universal toxicology screening that certainly will be presented as evidence against you in court ( unless you were killed ).


Reasons for Universal Toxicology Screening

  • Medical testing

  • Employment drug testing

  • Forensic analysis

  • Athletics testing

  • Organ transplants

  • The problem with substance use, abuse and or addictions ( beyond mental and physical health ), is that your lifestyle can be adversely affected when others discover of your habit through testing.


Why are we addressing teenagers ?

  • Persons aged 18 to 25 are the most likely to drive under the influence of drugs than any other age group.

  • Besides alcohol, THC from marijuana is the most common substance found in the blood of car crash victims, fatally injured drivers, and impaired drivers,

  • Approximately 4-14% of drivers who died or suffered an injury in a car accident had tested positive for THC.

  • The most at-risk demographic for addictions, is teenagers, with nearly a quarter of all high school students reporting that they were offered illegal drugs in the last year, and more than 8 out of 10 admitting to at least 1 incident of binge drinking. ( Source : BC Naturopathic Association ).


Criminal Consequences

  • Cause Injury or Death

  • Arrest

  • Jail or Prison

  • Lose Car

  • Suspend Driving License

  • Huge insurance costs

  • Huge legal expenses

  • Ruin career prospects


On Arrest for Impaired Driving:

  • Upon being arrested for impaired driving the driver receives immediate penalties of:

  • 7 day vehicle seizure

  • $800 to $1000 towing fee

  • 90 day licence suspension

  • no collision coverage in accidents

  • $281 dollar licence reinstatement fee

  • These measures are taken BEFORE you appear in a court. On conviction penalties are much more severe. Many provinces and states have similar consequences.


Other consequences of arrest for impaired driving :

  • Once arrested, impaired driving has mandatory drivers licence suspensions including;

  • ninety (90) day licence suspension

  • seven (7) day seizure of vehicle

  • one year licence prohibition upon conviction

  • cannot drive anything that is:

  • pushed, pulled or driven,

  • including boats and

  • machinery and

  • construction equipment

  • Once arrested the driver cannot operate anything that is pushed, pulled or driven by any type of engine, anywhere in Canada.

  • This includes using construction machinery or farm equipment.


Prevention Principals

  • If you are planning on using cannabis, follow these four simple, yet potentially life-saving, rules:

  • Make sure you have a designated driver

  • Call a friend or loved one to pick you up

  • Call a cab or a ride sharing service

  • Stay over and sleep it off


24 Hour Help for Teenagers with an Addiction ( Canada )
Or TEXT To start using the text service, text CONNECT to 686868. ( United States )



Impaired driving means operating a vehicle while your ability to do so has been compromised to any degree by consuming:

  • alcohol

  • drugs including:

    • cannabis

    • over-the-counter drugs

    • prescription medication

    • illegal substances

  • a combination of the above

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