B.C. government passes legislation for drug-affected driving
15 Oct 2018
In response to the Canadian legalization of cannabis on October 17, 2018, new B.C. legislation is being introduced to help keep drug-affected drivers off B.C. roads.
|In effect now||New provincial sanctions associated with the three new Federal drug-impaired Criminal Code Offences.|
|Spring 2019||New 90-day Administrative Driving Prohibition (ADP) for drug-affected driving.|
The B.C. government and ICBC are focused on responsibly managing this significant change that reflects the government’s goal of prioritizing public health and safety.
Letters to be sent to GLP drivers
Drivers who are in GLP as of October 17, 2018, are being sent a letter advising them of the update to their driving record restrictions to include blood drug concentration (BDC). Distribution of the letters will start on October 17 and is expected to be completed by mid-December.
GLP drivers are not required to request or obtain a new driver’s licence card, but they must comply with this new restriction on their driving record which takes effect on October 17. If they request a new licence, they’ll need to pay the applicable fee.
Federal Criminal Code offences and provincial sanctions
There are three new Federal offences for having certain levels of blood drug concentration (BDC). The penalties depend on the drug type and the levels of drug, or the combination of alcohol and drugs.
- Offences apply to all drivers, including those with a medical authorization for cannabis.
- Two of the offences are based on BDC only, while one is a combination BDC and alcohol offence.
- There is a low BDC offence, which carries a lower penalty-point amount — six points versus 10 points — and a smaller penalty up to a $1000 fine. The penalties for the two other offences are the same as for alcohol impaired driving.
- All three new criminal code offences may be subject to a driver risk premium, driver penalty points and administrative sanctions.
Zero tolerance restriction for GLP drivers
Effective October 17, 2018, a driver in the graduated licensing program (GLP) must not operate a motor vehicle while having the presence of certain drugs, including cannabis (THC), in their body.
For further details, refer to the Important update to the restrictions on Learner and Novice driver’s licences (MV2958A). This document is for your reference and to use when discussing these important changes with your students.
Also, you can insert this this one page document (MV2958B) into your supply of driving guides to advise your students that restrictions and penalties for drug-impaired driving are changing. Effective October 17, the online driving guides and icbc.com were updated to reflect the new legislation.
Need more information?
For additional facts and information on the laws and regulations of cannabis relating to drug-impaired driving, visit our Online resources for instructors page.
Find out more on the B.C. government website:
- Alcohol and drug related prohibitions and suspensions
- Driving while affected by drugs or alcohol
- B.C. Government information on cannabis
- Get Cannabis Clarity
Find out more about the changes to impaired driving laws on the Government of Canada website: