Canada Mulls a 0.05 BAC Limit

The idea is to improve road safety, Canada’s government says.

But with cannabis due to be legalized in less than a year, Canadian Automobile Association-Quebec believes that now is not the right time to introduce such a measure.

“Marijuana legalization is going to require major investments in prevention, awareness-raising and policing. And the amount and degree of progress of such efforts, as well as the planned amounts to be invested, are already worrisome,” warns Marco Harrison, Director of the CAA-Quebec Foundation for Road Safety. “If the BAC limit is reduced to 0.05 as well, we believe the governments would be biting off more than they can chew, and the pill for motorists would be too hard to swallow,” he adds.

Quebec is the only province that has yet to adopt so-called “administrative” measures for drivers found to have BAC levels between 0.05 and 0.08, meant to serve as a serious warning but without criminal consequences. “These measures are very effective because they make people think. But because they don’t exist in Quebec, going ahead with an immediate change to the Criminal Code, with no phase-in period, could well create a lot of confusion and discontent,” Harrison points out.

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