Laws & Regulations

Driving in BC

Visitors may drive in BC for a period of up to six months with a valid drivers' license from another province, state or country. In BC, seat-belts and other safety devices such as child restraints are mandatory and must be worn when vehicles are in motion. Bicycle helmets and motorcycle helmets are required by law. It is prohibited to use cell phones or other handheld electronic devices while driving. Winter tires are mandatory October 1 through April 30 on some mountain passes and highways in BC. Watch for posted regulations on road signage. 


Cannabis Consumption

You must be 19 years or older to buy, use, possess, or grow non-medical cannabis in B.C. Adults 19+ can carry up to 30 grams of dried non-medical cannabis, or its equivalent, in a public place. Adults 19+ can generally smoke or vape cannabis in public spaces where tobacco smoking and vaping are allowed. But remember, second-hand smoke can be harmful and irritating to people, especially children, so be mindful when smoking in public spaces. Driving while under the influence of cannabis is against the law and is strictly enforced. For more information please visit: cannabis.gov.bc.ca (British Columbia), kelowna.ca/business-services/permits-licences/cannabis (City of Kelowna).


Liquor Consumption

The legal drinking age in BC is 19. Anyone under 19 is considered a minor and not permitted in nightclubs or drinking establishments and cannot purchase alcoholic beverages or participate in wine tastings, although they are welcome to visit wineries. Driving while under the influence of alcohol is against the law and is strictly enforced.


Smoking in Public Places

Smoking is prohibited within all Kelowna parks including: beaches, playgrounds, building exteriors, parking lots and natural areas. 


Pets in Vehicles: RDCO Bylaw #1343

During warm weather pet guardians must take precautions against the danger of heat exhaustion and heatstroke for their pets. The temperature in a parked car, even in the shade with the windows partly open, can rapidly reach a level that will seriously harm or even kill your pet. Leaving you pet in a car with the air conditioning on is also taking a risk as many pets have died as the result of a faulty air-conditioning system. Bylaw #1343 states that: No Owner shall cause or permit his or her dog to be confined to an enclosure or vehicle without adequate ventilation and sufficient shade to protect the dog from excessive heat and direct rays of the sun; conversely cold weather precautions should be taken as well. Fines range from $50-$2000.*

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*Sources: BC SPCARDCO