Roadside cannabis saliva-test devices – With the inevitable legalization of cannabis set for October 17th this year, the Federal government is expected to be ready with the controversial roadside saliva-testing devices. The devices were first ratified with Bill C-46 and now approved by Attorney General Jody Wilson-Raybould – who was waiting for the recommendation from an independent committee that included traffic safety experts and toxicologists.
The model that has been approved is made by a company based in Lubeck, Germany and called the ‘Draeger Drug Test 5000’. Drager, a leading international company in the fields of medical and safety technology since 1889, created the device which they describe as ‘an easy to use mobile drug screening system that uses oral fluid to test for seven types of the most commonly abused drugs. This quick drug test provides a non-invasive alternative to the hassle of collecting urine or blood samples – and it is for law enforcement use only.’
RCMP and police officers will have the authority to test for the presence of THC, the principal psychoactive constituent of cannabis, by swabbing a driver’s mouth. And the device will also be able to detect substances such as opiates, cocaine, cannabinoids, amphetamines as well as designer drugs in oral fluid samples or samples from surfaces. It has already been approved in other countries, including the United Kingdom and Germany.
Police will first need grounds to pull a driver over, which they suspect has taken drugs within the last six hours to demand the test – and if they fail, police will have the right to bring them in for further testing that will include a blood test and/or an examination by an expert in the field of drug recognition.
The Federal government is allocating $81 million over a five year period to be used by the provinces and territories to purchase the Draeger devices and also to have more officers trained to properly recognize a driver who is driving under the influence of drugs.
The official government order for the devices is under a 30-day notice period before they can actually be purchased and then made available to the provinces and territories based on their needs.
Bottom line, don’t drive under the influence of drugs, or alcohol for that matter – it kills.