In this photo illustration, smoke from a cannabis oil vaporizer is seen as the driver is behind the wheel of a car in North Vancouver, B.C., on November 14, 2018.

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

The federal government is boosting funding to help British Columbia police officers recognize drug-impaired drivers, months after it legalized recreational cannabis.

Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair announced funding of $10.1 million over five years to increase the number of officers trained in field sobriety testing and drug recognition.

READ MORE: Early data suggests no post-legalization spike in drug-impaired driving charges

Blair told reporters at a news conference at the Vancouver Police Department that those who believe they aren’t impaired after consuming cannabis are dangerously misinformed and they will be caught.

The funding is part of $81 million announced by the Canadian government for provinces and territories to support road safety and other public initiatives.

The Canadian Press has canvassed police forces across the country and many reported no noticeable spike in stoned driving since legalization, including the Vancouver Police Department.

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test, the Drager DrugTest 5000, over concern about how its results will hold up in court.

READ MORE: Impaired driving laws creates different classes of offenders, says B.C. lawyer

Drager has defended its test, saying it was never designed to test for impairment, but to identify the presence of THC, the chemical responsible for the high in cannabis, and it’s just one tool of many that police use to assess road safety.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

CVRD requests rainstorm, flood photos via online tool

Officials want to know more about how that type of event impacted the region as a whole.

Bluegrass Festival in Cowichan offering savings for early birds

The annual Cowichan Valley Bluegrass Festival will run from June 19 to 21

Drivesmart column: Let’s block the road

Police resources to cope with the size of the protest group is an important consideration.

Coming up in Cowichan: Meet the Wounded Warriors

Wounded Warrior Run stops at Legion The Royal Canadian Legion Malahat District… Continue reading

Cowichan climber off to Olympic qualifier

Brennan Doyle competing for Pan Am Championship

VIDEO: 2020 BC Winter Games wrap up in Fort St. John as torch passes to Maple Ridge

More than 1,000 athletes competed in the 2020 BC Winter Games

Massive early-morning blaze destroys Vancouver Island home

Firefighters from three departments called in to battle fire at unoccupied residence

First win, fifth win highlight BC Senior Curling finals

Donna Mychaluk wins first title after finishing second five times; Wes Craig takes fifth crown

Still six cases of COVID-19 in B.C. despite reports of Air Canada passenger: ministry

Health ministry wouldn’t comment on specific flight routes

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

Most Read