How Police are Preparing to Catch Drivers Under the Influence of Cannabis

Article by CTV News

With recreational marijuana set to become legal on Oct. 17, police forces across Canada are stepping up efforts to train officers to detect drivers under the influence of the drug.

A new piece of legislation that changed Canada’s impaired driving laws gives police enhanced powers to conduct roadside intoxication tests, including oral fluid drug tests. Driving while high will remain illegal after legalization.

Public Safety Canada announced in September 2017 that it would invest up to $81 million in new law enforcement training to help officers weed out impaired drivers through a 12-step evaluation known as a drug recognition expert evaluation.

The test, according to Const. Chad Morrison, a drug recognition expert and drug evaluation and classification coordinator with Nova Scotia’s RCMP traffic services, helps detect “central nervous system depressants, inhalants, dissociative anesthetics, cannabis, central nervous system stimulants, hallucinogens and narcotic analgesics.”

Here’s what to expect if you are pulled over on suspicion of impaired driving:

At the roadside

After first using a breath test to rule out alcohol as the main cause of impairment, the officer will interview the driver and complete a pulse check. The driver will then be asked to complete three tests: an eye test, the one-leg stand, and the walk and turn.

Once the impaired driving legislation is enacted in December 2018, police officers will also be able to conduct roadside saliva tests.

Read the full article here.

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