Cannabis and Auto insurance in Edmonton

What You Need to Know About Cannabis and Auto Insurance in Edmonton

As recreational cannabis use is now legal in Canada, many drivers have questions about how this might affect their auto insurance. Merit Insurance Services Ltd is here to help answer some of those questions. As a provider of vehicle insurance in Edmonton, we want to make sure that all of our clients and all drivers on Alberta's roads are aware of how impaired driving laws pertain to cannabis and of how driving under the influence can impact their insurance premiums.


Cannabis and Impaired Driving Laws 

On April 9, 2018, Alberta updated its impaired driving laws to prepare for the legalization of cannabis. Here are the main points that you need to be aware of:


  • Drivers found with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08 or 2 ng of THC per ml of blood face an immediate 90-day license suspension. They must then participate in a one-year ignition interlock program or remain suspended for the year. 
  • The same sanctions apply to drivers found with a blood alcohol concentration of 0.05 to 0.08 combined with 2.5 ng of THC. 
  • There is a zero tolerance policy for new GDL drivers. Any amount of alcohol or THC will result in a 30-day license suspension.


The Impact of a Cannabis DUI Charge on Your Vehicle Insurance
Being charged with driving under the influence of cannabis will have the same potential effect on your auto insurance in Edmonton as driving under the influence of alcohol. As you will now be viewed as a high-risk driver, your insurance rates will likely increase. A more serious offense, such as causing an accident that resulted in injury or property damage, will result in a higher increase. The exact extent of your rate increase will depend on the specific agreement between yourself and your insurer.

How Roadside Testing for Cannabis Impairment Will Work
The Canadian government recently passed Bill C-46, which authorizes police to use roadside saliva-testing devices to determine a driver's level of cannabis impairment. Cannabis impairment can be tested for in the following ways: 

  • Police will have the choice of using a field sobriety test, a saliva test, or a combination of the two to determine impairment. 
  • A saliva test will indicate a fail if it detects 5 ng or more of THC per ml of blood. 
  • If a driver passes the saliva test but fails the field sobriety test, police can use a blood test to determine if the driver has between 2 ng and 5 ng of THC in their blood. 


Drive Safe and Enjoy Low Rates on Auto Insurance in Edmonton
The bottom line is that if you drive safely and avoid driving under the influence of alcohol or cannabis, you will have a much easier time keeping your Edmonton vehicle insurance rates low. At Merit Insurance Services Ltd, our insurance experts will help you find the best auto insurance policy at the lowest rate for your needs.

To speak to a broker and start saving on your auto insurance today, just contact Merit Insurance Services Ltd.