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Drug impairment and cross-border personal injury claims

Although recreational use of cannabis is legal in British Columbia, it of course remains dangerous to drive while impaired by drugs. Drivers are advised to arrange for a designated driver to do the driving, a taxi or another safe transport option. Sadly, some cannabis users drive after using cannabis, and because recreational use of this drug is also legal in Washington state, Vancouver residents who travel to Seattle will be at risk of being involved in accidents caused by impaired drivers. If this happens south of the border, complicated cross-border personal injury issues may come into play.

The fact that cannabis remains in the system of a user complicates the issue. Drivers might not realize that their driving abilities remain impaired even if they used cannabis days or hours ago. Their motor and cognitive skills will be affected, preventing them from safely operating their vehicles.

Reaction times, crucial skills in driving, are also affected by cannabis use. Authorities say the hazards are exacerbated when drivers consume edible cannabis products, which became legal at the end of 2019. The manner of consumption will play a role in the mental and physical state of the individual, with edibles having a more intense effect that also lasts longer than when smoking cannabis.

When a driver from British Columbia has to deal with the financial, physical and emotional damages caused by an accident, he or she might have questions about his or her legal rights to seek financial relief. If a driver who was impaired by cannabis caused the crash, an experienced lawyer could provide answers and assistance with the legal and insurance-related proceedings. If such an accident happened south of the border, a lawyer with skills in dealing with cross-border personal injury claims could be invaluable.