For years we have heard about the dangers of drunk driving, but alcohol is not the only substance drivers sometimes use before getting behind the wheel. On Oct. 17, 2018 Marijuana (cannabis) became legal in Canada – the major problem is that driving while impaired by drugs has strict consequences and can have a catastrophic effect on the lives of many. Even once legal, it is important to understand operating a motor vehicle, boat or piece of heavy machinery while high has legal consequences, along with putting your own life, and the lives of others at risk.
Those who drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol put the lives of other motorists, passengers, and pedestrians in danger. If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a driver under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you may be entitled to financial compensation. As leading Hamilton personal injury lawyers, we closely follow legal developments in relation to drugged driving to assist our clients who were injured in an accident involving impaired drivers, by marijuana, alcohol or other drugs. If you have been injured in an accident and suspect the driver was under the influence of marijuana, other drugs, alcohol or a combination thereof, it’s vital you call our experienced team for more information.
Cannabis is one of the most common drugs in Canada – and is the most prevalent illicit drug identified in impaired drivers. What is the drug all about? The active ingredient in marijuana is tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC. Using Marijuana can: decrease concentration, increase sleepiness, decreased ability to appropriately react, and impair the ability to have accurate spatial awareness. It also affects motor control, vision and balance. These side effects can make it dangerous to drive. Combine marijuana with other drugs, medication or alcohol and the side effects can be even more severe. Those involved in law enforcement, the medical industry and personal injury law all agree marijuana affects driving ability and increases the risk of collision. This is not just hearsay, it is scientifically proven.
In a French study, it was reported drivers under the influence of marijuana were twice as likely to be responsible for a serious accident than a sober driver. Researchers in Norway had similar results, noting driving while high from marijuana increases a crash risk by 30 per cent.
An article published in BC Medical Journal, Driving stoned: Marijuana legalization and drug impaired driving, cannabis is the most frequently detected drug detected in drivers after a motor vehicle accident. Even producers of cannabis have spoken out about the dangers of driving while under the influence of marijuana. Terry Booth, the CEO of Aurora Cannabis, has said “We strongly advise against operating motorized vehicles while under the influence of cannabis, given its potential to affect response time and the ability to make proper judgement calls while on the road.” Canada passed Bill C-46 which updates intoxicated driving laws to update roadside tests and includes the parameters for what constitutes intoxication from marijuana: 5 nanograms per millilitre of blood.
Intoxicated driving, whether due to drugs or alcohol, is dangerous driving and puts lives at risk. If you have suffered life-changing injuries in a car accident caused by a driver that was high, you may be entitled to compensation. You may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, your loss of wages to retirement, compensation to help pay to replace your loss of housekeeping capacity, compensation for your family members, attendant care, rehabilitation therapy and future health care costs for therapy and medications, among other things.
Motor vehicle accidents are stressful and can severely impact your day-to-day life and leave you unable to work. Your recovery can be compounded by the financial strain put on your life. If you were injured in a motor vehicle accident, we can help.
No doubt, cannabis and driving is an emerging injury-prevention concern. Marijuana is the most widely consumed illicit substance in the Canada. As it becomes more readily available, there will no doubt be a concurrent rise in the number of users and, consequently, the number of drivers driving under the influence in Ontario and throughout Canada.
If you or a loved one has suffered life-changing injuries in a car accident caused by a driver impaired by drugs call us today. Our Hamilton car accident lawyers will be able to help recover the compensation you deserve to help you and your family get your lives back on track.