The Canadian police will soon have their first roadside device to test drivers for potential marijuana intoxication.
The test will screen for the presence of THC in the person's saliva. This will definitely be a step up from the current practice of using standardized sobriety test, which simply involves asking a driver to stand on one foot or walk in a straight line.
The new test from a German-based company is called Draeger DrugTest 5000, and it can detect recent drug use - from approximately a 6-hour window - by using a sample of human saliva.
The device is already approved in other countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany, however, it may be adapted to meet Canadian standards. Moreover, it's possible that the Canadian Society of Forensic Science continues to test and approve other devices which will be adopted later on. This is only the beginning.
The one very Canadian issue that may affect the efficacy of the test is temperature. Apparently, the test may not function properly in the winter. More testing and subsequent feedback need to be done to confirm this, though.
That said, these devices and the overall training to recognize drug-impairment is not cheap. The federal government is dedicating $81 million available over five years for provinces and territories to buy screening tests and train officers to spot drug impairment.
It doesn't stop there though, the government has also heavily invested in prevention education, and will be spending $62.5 million over five years on public education initiatives, including advertising campaigns.
Looks like the federal government has definitely made some big advances in their mission to prevent and stop drug-impaired driving.
With the legalization of recreational marijuana comes impaired driving offences. Learn more about the changes to police training that the RCMP is spearheading to keep more drug-impaired drivers off Canada's roads. #dontdrivehigh https://t.co/vn5q2ptbbF pic.twitter.com/7xWD2NLwxy— RCMP (@rcmpgrcpolice) July 17, 2018