With the recent legalization of cannabis in Canada, it is definitely a good time to brush up on federal impaired driving laws, especially since these regulations were overhauled last December. Bill-C-46 introduced some changes you should be aware of, so let’s look at what those changes are, what you should know about them and how they may affect you.
What are the main changes?
First, the bill introduces more severe penalties for impaired driving, which the federal government hopes will act as a deterrent, with maximum penalties going up from five to a maximum of ten years. Note that fines for first offences have also gone up and a non-criminal first offence carries a mandatory minimum $1,000 fine. Second, the bill now gives police officers the power to demand a breath sample from any driver who they’ve stopped. This is a big change. Before Bill C-46, officers had to make note of indicators such as red eyes, slurred speech, or simply the smell of alcohol. With the new law, they are no longer required to do so and can ask for a mandatory breathalyzer test from any driver they’ve stopped.
What you need to know – high risk, no reward
The main thing you need to keep in mind is that if you’re stopped by a police officer, you may be asked to provide a breath sample, even if there’s no clear indication you might be under the influence. This includes not respecting signage, driving too fast, or driving too slow.
Getting stopped because you were driving a bit too slow is one thing, but if you end up facing impaired driving charges, insurance providers will label you as a “high-risk” driver. From an insurance adjuster’s perspective, the equation is simple: high-risk drivers pay higher rates. Unfortunately, if you’re considered high-risk, it may be difficult to find an insurer who’ll cover you for a reasonable price. That’s where a knowledgeable insurance broker comes in.
Finding You the Right Car Insurance at a Reasonable Price
Even without the added trouble of potential impaired driving charges, it can be hard to understand the ins and outs of car insurance in Edmonton. Fortunately, we’re here to help. If you need auto insurance in Edmonton, MBS Insurance Brokers provides unbiased guidance to help you find a plan that will suit your needs. Our job is to protect you, every step of the way. Call us today to speak with a broker or get a free quote.