Shop Insurance Canada Highlights DWI Challenge Using OMQ Infographic
October 05, 2016 (PRLEAP.COM) Business NewsOctober 5, 2016 - As Canada begins the process of legalizing marijuana across the country, there are still questions that are unanswered. Insurance expert Shop Insurance Canada says Canadian law enforcement have combatted drunk driving for decades, but the methods for dealing with drivers who are high have not been set out. The online insurance authority says an infographic from OMQ shows how a DWI law will be applied in Canada.
OMQ, a Toronto based law firm, has released an infographic that explains the differences between DUI and DWI. The company says Canada can learn from the United States in how it polices impaired driving drug use from motorists.
The Liberal government will introduce legislation that would legalize marijuana in 2017, but road safety groups are concerned that accidents will rise as a consequence. The United States is further along in its acceptance of marijuana as a legal substance, but is still itself pushing country-wide legalization of recreational and medical use.
In the US, only four states have completely legalized marijuana, while a further 19 have legalized the drug for medicinal purposes. While the country still pushes for wider legislation, the United States has history in policing drivers operating vehicles under the influence of marijuana.
In its infographic, OMQ shows the differences in DUI (Driving under the influence) and DWI (Driving while intoxicated)? Both the United States and Canada operate a zero tolerance to drug use while driving. In other words, there is no limit allowed before law enforcement can act. In both nations there is a tolerance of 0.08% alcohol blood level or lower.
OMQ says Canada can look to states such as Alaska, Colorado, Washington, Washington DC, and Oregon to help them decide how to police impaired driving:
"Can Canadian and US driving laws serve as a Canada's marijuana manual on creating laws for drug-impaired driving? If the information and trends in the above infographic are anything to go by, we can very well see Canada constructing a similar legal framework in the near future."
Police roadside tests are currently more advanced in the US, highlighting the country's earlier acceptance of marijuana as a legal substance. For example, police in the US have an absorbent swab that drivers place on their tongue. This swab will tell if there is marijuana or solely nicotine present. At the moment, Canada is only testing a similar system for catching DWI drivers.
This reflects Canada's push towards marijuana legalization, but driving high is a problem whether the substance is legal or not. Police would be able to find DWI drivers more easily if they already had a roadside solution in place.
In some states that have legalized marijuana, death rates have risen. For example, in Washington, the number of fatal road accidents has doubled since the drug was made legal. While direct correlations have not been studied, it is a cause for concern amongst road safety groups. Canada will have to manage the possibility of rising road fatalities due to DWI drivers.
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