(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.

Just Posted

Tenders awarded for pavement and concrete improvements

Seven locations identified as priorities for paving

Ponoka Vintage Motorcycle Rally honours 50 years of Honda

The pistons will be popping and the extremely motivated members of the… Continue reading

Big Valley captures Ponoka Lions tournament title

Ponoka’s Medcor Misfits just edged out in B event championship

Calgary Stampede tough on area cowboys

A new buckle was simply not in the cards for some local… Continue reading

Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzman sentenced to life in prison

Experts say he will likely wind up at the federal government’s Supermax prison in Florence, Colorado

Mountain Pine Beetle makes its way into Ponoka County

Assar Grinde has a special attachment to the pine trees that line… Continue reading

Natural gas producers demand government action in open letter to Kenney

The letter warns that the viability of the natural gas sector is in jeopardy

Remains of missing Edmonton woman discovered outside of North Battleford: RCMP

The 25-year-old Edmonton woman was reported missing on May 12

Companies to appear before panel today in public inquiry into B.C. gas prices

A three-member panel by B.C. Utilities Commission will listen to up to four days of oral hearings

Interviews with family of highway shooting victim heard in Calgary court

Horst Stewin’s relatives were set to testify by video from Germany this morning, but a court translator said she was unable to proceed

Lower gas prices slow annual inflation rate to Bank of Canada’s 2% bull’s-eye

Prices showed strength in other areas — led by a 17.3 per cent increase in the cost of fresh vegetables

RCMP investigating alleged ‘sexual misconduct’ by cyclist on BCIT campus

BCIT said they were reviewing video evidence of the incident

Graphic suicide scene edited out of ‘13 Reasons Why’ finale

Suicide prevention groups support the decision

Most Read