Article by The Canadian Press via The Globe and Mail
Drivers in some jurisdictions may soon find themselves asked by police to volunteer for a saliva test, part of a pilot project aimed at detecting drug-impaired drivers.
The federal government, the RCMP and a number of police departments across the country will conduct the experiment to see how well certain roadside testing devices work to detect drugs.
Public Safety Minister Ralph Goodale says his department and the Canadian Council of Motor Transport Administrators will collaborate with police forces on the project, which will look at how two different devices work under varying weather conditions.
The “oral fluid” screening systems test saliva for the presence of drugs, including cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine and opioids.
The announcement comes a day after a federal task force delivered a series of recommendations about legalizing cannabis and raised questions about detecting drivers impaired by marijuana.
Police forces in Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax and Gatineau, Que., will take part in the project, along with the Ontario Provincial Police and RCMP detachments in North Battleford, Sask., and Yellowknife.
Police officers will be trained in the use of two types of screening devices and will use them in operational settings, but only with drivers and passengers who volunteer to anonymously provide a sample.