Cannabis and Your Auto Insurance Policy
With Canada set to legalize recreational cannabis use this October, many people have questions about what impact it may have on their auto insurance. At Tailor Made Insurance in Sherwood Park, we want to make sure you've got all of the information you need to make the right choices. Here is everything you should know about how roadside saliva testing for cannabis will work and about what this could mean for your insurance premiums.
New Roadside Testing for Cannabis Use
Until now, police have had to use standard field sobriety tests and drug recognition evaluations to test and convict for cannabis impairment. However, the recently passed Bill C-46 has authorized the use of roadside saliva-testing devices for oral fluid tests. Bill C-46 overhauled the country's impaired driving laws and set specific limits on the amount of THC (the main psychoactive chemical in cannabis) that a driver can legally have in their system.
Police will be able to use a field sobriety test, an oral fluid test, or both to determine a driver's level of impairment. If they decide on an oral fluid test, they will take a swab of the driver's mouth. The device will then indicate a pass or a fail. A reading of five or more nanograms of THC per millilitre of blood will result in a fail. Depending on the seriousness of the offence, this may lead to a fine or jail time.
If a driver passes the oral fluid test but fails the field sobriety test, then a police officer can still demand a blood test as well. Drivers that are then found to have between two and five nanograms of THC may receive a summary conviction and a fine, again depending on the seriousness of the offence.
How an Impaired Driving Conviction Could Affect Your Insurance
Just as with alcohol, an impaired driving conviction for cannabis will almost certainly cause your Sherwood Park auto insurance premiums to go up. How much of an increase you may see will depend on your unique policy and on the severity of the charge. For example, if the accident resulted in property damage or injury, then you will be deemed a high-risk driver and seen as a significant insurance risk.
The best way to keep your insurance premiums down and to stay safe on the road is to avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. There are always other ways to plan your day or alternative modes of transportation you can take.
Have More Questions About Auto Insurance in Sherwood Park?
Tailor Made Insurance has been providing auto insurance in Sherwood Park since 1993. We always make sure to stay on top of the latest developments in driving law so that we can provide our clients with useful and up-to-date information that can help them decide on the right policy for their needs.
To speak to one of our experienced brokers about Canada's new impaired driving laws or to find out more about our Sherwood Park auto insurance policies, don't hesitate to contact us today.