(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

Man stabbed in Fleetwood overnight

Police were on scene in the 15200-block of Fraser Highway shortly after midnight

Surrey Community Leader Awards winners revealed

The 16th CLA awards, presented by the Now-Leader, recognized Surrey’s un-sung heroes

Police dog helps apprehend ‘prolific’ property crime offender near Surrey, Langley border

Douglas Holmes, 47, has been charged with break and enter of a business on the Langley Bypass

North Delta teen dancer to make her debut on the world stage

Emma McQuarrie will be competing in Portugal this June for the Dance World Cup

White Rock-South Surrey Titans prep for football provincials

Association’s midget team to play in B.C. final Sunday in Kamloops

People flocking to Vancouver Island city to see hundreds of sea lions

Each year the combination of Steller and California sea lions take over Cowichan Bay

Drug-related deaths double for B.C. youth in care, advocate says

Teens say positive connections with adults key to recovery

Children’s strawberry-flavoured medicines recalled due to faulty safety cap

Three different acetaminophen syrups part of nationwide recall

Around the BCHL: Junior A cities to host World Junior tuneup games

Around the BCHL is a look at what’s happening in the league and around the junior A world.

International students hit hard by B.C. tuition fee hikes

Campaign seeks regulatory controls be imposed on post-secondary institutions

Trudeau pushes for more Saudi accountability in Khashoggi killing

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada is still seeking clear answers from Saudi Arabia about what happened to Jamal Khashoggi

School bullying video shows how people with disabilities are devalued: advocates

Brett Corbett, who has cerebral palsy, is seen in a video being stepped while lying in water

CFL will use extra on-field official to watch for illegal blows to quarterback

If the extra official sees an illegal blow that has not already been flagged, they will advise the head referee, who can then assess a penalty for roughing the passer

Older B.C. drivers subsidizing younger ones, study finds

ICBC protects higher-risk drivers, pays for testing costs

Most Read