Tougher DUI Laws

Don’t take the chance #DriveSafe

With the recent legalization of cannabis, will there be a spike in accidents due to impaired driving?  The truth is we won’t know the statistics until a length of time has passed since October 17th.  From an insurance perspective we don’t want to wait for the statistic.  Risk is associated with recreational cannabis use.  As insurance brokers we’re taking an active role in making sure clients understand the risks and penalties associated with impaired driving.

Driving under cannabis use is illegal quick facts:
  • Many people have the misconception that cannabis doesn’t inhibit your ability to drive, or that it may actually make you a better driver.  This is ABSOLUTELY not true.
  • Cannabis use puts you at an increased risk of getting into an accident.
  • Alcohol is the main drug found in drivers after accidents and cannabis ranks as second.
  • Cannabis is also commonly mixed with alcohol, which increasingly strengthens the effects.
  • Driving under cannabis use affects your decision making capacity and affects your ability to judge distances.

Understanding the penalties is of key importance in reducing impaired driving.  In Ontario, it is strictly illegal to operate any motor vehicle under the influence of alcohol, cannabis or any other type of drug.  This applies to cars, trucks, boats planes snowmobiles and ATV’s.

So what counts as impaired driving?

Definition “The criminal offence of operating or having care or control of a motor vehicle while the person’s ability to operate the vehicle has been impaired by alcohol or a drug”.

What that basically means is, don’t drink, smoke drugs, or pop a pill if you are going to operate a motorized vehicle.  If you by any chance happen to do any of those things, think twice before operating the vehicle.  You not only put yourself on the line for personal injury or jail time, but you endanger others lives as well.

Take a cab if you have more than a beer – it’s that simple.  If a cab services are not convenient, try ride share programs like Lyft and Uber.  Don’t hesitate to download their app as a proactive safety measure.  Once its downloaded you don’t need to worry about cash or tip, at a push of a button you’ll be safely on your way home.  It’s one tap away, and it’s definitely worth it to save your life, and others.  Don’t take the chance when your are drinking.   As a rule of thumb – unless you use a breathalyser, you must assume your blood alcohol levels are likely higher then you believe.

Did You Know!

  1. As of December 18 impaired driving is a serious criminal offence.
  2. So the one extra drink or bad decision to drive under the influence could have multiple life changing implications. A serious criminal offence could impact immigration and refugee status, employment, insurance qualification and/or increased maximum sentence from five to 10 years.
  3. Changes to the law also include mandatory screening (without reason), no more ‘bolus drinking defence’ and more severe penalties
  4. The overall cost of impaired driving is estimated to cost you $23,078 to $31,078 (Study conducted by Arrive Alive)
  5.  There are revised penalties for impaired driving.  Here are charts from the Government of Canada’s justice and madd website.

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