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Cannabis impaired truckers can cause catastrophic car accidents

With the legalization of recreational use of cannabis in Ontario and the rest of Canada, lawmakers are extremely busy with modifying existing laws and drafting new laws to govern marijuana use. The authorities in charge of road safety are making haste with new legislation to control marijuana-impaired driving. Many rules are still evolving, but commercial truck drivers already face more stringent tests to prevent increased numbers of car accidents involving big rigs.

Although the federal government has set testing standards, police authority guidelines, and limits for criminal penalties and charges, Ontario has set additional limits for truckers in the province, including a zero-tolerance rule for cannabis impairment. Authorities say commercial trucks are seen as workplaces where neither alcohol nor marijuana is allowed. Although related laws are still evolving, lawmakers want to strengthen the rights of roadside officers.

For that reason, law enforcement no longer needs probable cause, like witnessing a driver with dilated pupils or slurred speech, to order a blood test. Furthermore, federal law limits THC content in a trucker's blood at between two nanograms and five nanograms per millilitre of blood, while Ontario has effectively banned any presence of THC or alcohol in the blood of commercial truck drivers. However, at this time, there is still no guidelines as to the amount of cannabis that will cause an over-limit level of the active ingredient, THC.

When cars and big rigs collide, the size and weight difference between commercial trucks and passenger vehicles typically leave occupants of cars worse off. Injured victims or the surviving family members of those who lost their lives in such car accidents can pursue financial relief. An experienced Ontario personal injury lawyer might best navigate this complicated legal process.

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