Article by Rafferty Baker, CBC News
The researchers behind a new portable drug-and-alcohol testing device hope that, once ready, their product could help police get drug-impaired drivers off the road.
It’s called the Ophthalight and it’s being developed by a group including Ehsan Daneshi, a PhD student in computational neuroscience at Simon Fraser University.
“We are in the very early stage of developing this device for law enforcement and initial feedback from a couple of contacts we have over there was very positive,” he said, explaining the device was initially intended for medical purposes, but they realized it could be marketed to law enforcement agencies.
The device fits over a suspect driver’s face like goggles. Daneshi wouldn’t say much about exactly how it works, citing intellectual property concerns, but essentially there’s a camera pointed at each eye and a series of lights around the lenses stimulates a reaction in the eye, which is recorded and analysed.
The idea is that the device will replace the typical tests administered by police officers with a flashlight — just a part of the Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) used in British Columbia.