Cannabis and road safety
Getting behind the wheel while impaired is not only dangerous, it’s illegal. Drug-affected drivers can face serious consequences like fines, licence prohibitions and jail-time. Learn more about the federal laws and consequences here.
British Columbia made changes to the Motor Vehicle Act, to provide police with more tools to address and deter drug-affected driving. New drivers in the Province’s Graduated Licensing Program now have a zero-tolerance restriction for the presence of drugs, such as THC and cocaine, in their body. The Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP) was expanded on July 15, 2019, to include drug-affected driving. See the 90-day administrative driving prohibition section of RoadSafetyBC's Alcohol and drug related driving prohibitions and suspensions webpage for any drug-affected driver, or driver with a blood drug concentration equal to or exceeding the legal limits under the Motor Vehicle Act.
Learn about drug-affected driving and the consequences here:
- MADD Canada
- Young Drivers of Canada
- Canadian Automobile Association (CAA)
- Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police
- Don’t Drive High (Government of Canada)
Non-medical cannabis consumption is generally not allowed in vehicles whether they are parked or moving, but there are some exceptions to this rule.
It can be used in motorhomes or other motor vehicles, or campers, or trailers when being used as a private residence and parked off a public road or forest service road where camping is allowed.
Cannabis can be transported in a vehicle as long as it’s in its original, unopened packaging, or is inaccessible to the driver and occupants (for example, in the trunk). In addition, a maximum of four non-medical cannabis plants can be transported in a vehicle, but they cannot be budding or flowering.
For more information, see Transporting or consuming non-medical cannabis in a vehicle (PDF, 369KB).
Drug-affected driving is illegal. Police in B.C. are trained to detect and deter drug-affected driving and have multiple tools to investigate impaired driving. If a police officer suspects a driver’s ability to operate a motor vehicle is affected by a drug, including cannabis, or a combination of drugs and alcohol, the officer may require a driver to submit to a Standard Field Sobriety Test (SFST).
Following the SFST, if the police officer believes that a person’s ability to drive is affected by a drug, or a combination of a drug and alcohol, the officer may require a person to:
- Submit to a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) evaluation and provide a bodily fluid sample or;
- The officer may make a demand for a sample of blood.