(Cannabis Culture/Flickr photo)

Feds approve roadside saliva test ahead of pot legalization

Marijuana becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17

The federal government has approved a saliva test police can use if they suspect a driver is high on drugs.

Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould made the announcement about the the Dräger DrugTest® 5000 on Monday afternoon, following public consultation that began mid-July.

“Impaired driving is the leading criminal cause of death and injury in Canada,” said Wilson-Raybould in a release. “We are giving law enforcement the tools, technology, and the resources they need to protect Canadians on the road.”

The move comes less than three months before recreational marijuana becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17.

READ MORE: 14% of people admit to driving after smoking pot: Stats Canada

READ MORE: After 10 years of fighting drunk drivers, Alexa’s Team asks: What about pot?

According to the manufacturer, the Dräger DrugTest® 5000 tests for marijuana, meth, opioids, cocaine and methadone, among other substances.

Under the incoming pot legalization laws, drivers with between two and five nanograms per millimetre of tetrahydrocannabinol, the main active ingredient in pot, in their blood could net a fine of $1,000.

Those with five or more nanograms per millimetre face a minimum fine of $1,000, and up to five years behind bars for repeated offences.

The move follows a four-month pilot project where police collected and analyzed nearly 1,200 saliva samples using a roadside test.

A federally commissioned report found that proper training and standard operating procedures make saliva tests a “useful additional tool” to help detect high drivers.

The report said the test was a “fast, accurate” means of testing saliva samples for drugs such as amphetamines, opiates, cocaine, cannabinoids, and methadone.”


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

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

McDougall-Percillier gets top Rugby Canada honour

“I’m really stoked about getting this award”

Business notes: WINGS set to close on Aug. 29

A few of the things going on in Cowichan’s business community

Collision knocks over fire hydrant on Ypres Street

Duncan firefighters quick to get situation under control

Pumps not needed on the Cowichan River this year

Wet year so far has resulted in higher water levels

‘Don’t kill my mom’: Ryan Reynolds calls on young British Columbians to be COVID-smart

‘Deadpool’ celebrity responds to premier’s call for social influence support

Captain Horvat’s OT marker lifts Canucks to 4-3 win over Blues

Vancouver takes 2-0 lead in best-of-7 NHL playoff series with St. Louis

Widow of slain Red Deer doctor thanks community for support ahead of vigil

Fellow doctors, members of the public will gather for a physically-distanced vigil in central Alberta

Protesters showcase massive old yellow cedar as Port Renfrew area forest blockade continues

9.5-foot-wide yellow cedar measured by Ancient Forest Alliance campaigners in Fairy Creek watershed

Taking dog feces and a jackhammer to neighbourhood dispute costs B.C. man $16,000

‘Pellegrin’s actions were motivated by malice …a vindictive, pointless, dangerous and unlawful act’

Racist stickers at Keremeos pub leaves group uneasy and angry

The ‘OK’ hand gesture is a known hate-symbol

VIDEO: World responds to B.C. girl after pandemic cancels birthday party

Dozens of cards and numerous packages were delivered to six-year-old Charlie Manning

Expected fall peak of COVID-19 in Canada could overwhelm health systems: Tam

National modelling projections released Friday show an expected peak in cases this fall

Most Read