Neither Vancouver nor Delta police plan on immediately utilizing a new roadside saliva test to test for marijuana impairment when the drug becomes legal on OCt. 17. (Delta Police)

2 B.C. police departments won’t use new saliva test to detect high drivers

The Dräger DrugTest 5000 is designed to find THC, the high-inducing part of marijuana

Two B.C. police departments say they won’t roll out a federally-approved roadside marijuana test to use when the drug becomes legal in Canada on Oct. 17.

Both the Vancouver and Delta police agencies won’t be using the Drager DrugTest 5000.

“We will be obtaining a Drager DrugTest 5000 so we can familiarize ourselves with the technology, but we do not have immediate plans to utilize the device operationally,” Vancouver Sgt. Jason Robillard said in an email to Black Press Media.

“The VPD will continue to detect drug impaired drivers through officers trained in standardized field sobriety tests and qualified drug recognition experts.”

READ MORE: 14% of people admit to driving after smoking pot: Stats Canada

Delta Police public affairs coordinator Cris Leykauf said that the force will not be using the roadside saliva test in 2018, and has no plans yet for 2019.

Instead, officers will continue to use the “standard field sobriety tests” at the roadside.

“This the mechanism Delta Police uses right now to initially determine if a driver is impaired by drugs,” said Leykauf in an email.

“By the end of the year we expect to have 50 per cent of our operational officers trained.”

According to Leykauf, not passing the roadside test will result in a 24-hour prohibition a possibility of further investigation, including “a drug influence evaluation and potential criminal charges.”

That level of further investigation is done at the police station, Leykauf said.

READ MORE: Feds approve roadside saliva test ahead of pot legalization

According to the manufacturer, the Dräger DrugTest 5000 allows police to tests for marijuana, meth, opioids, cocaine and methadone at the side of the road by getting a saliva sample.

The federal attorney general approved it in late August, after a four-month pilot project and a federally commissioned report found that proper training and standard operating procedures make saliva tests a “useful additional tool” to help detect high drivers.

Critics have raised concerns, however, that tetrahydrocannabinol, also known as THC, the psychoactive substance in marijuana, can stay in blood and saliva for much longer than the effects of the chemical last.

READ MORE: After 10 years of fighting drunk drivers, Alexa’s Team asks: What about pot?

Once marijuana is legal, drivers with between two and five nanograms per millimetre of THC in their blood could be fined $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.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

QUIZ: A celebration of dogs

These are the dog days of summer. How much do you know about dogs?

Pilot project aims to boost entrepreneurial women in the Okanagan

W Venture, a collaborative project, is open for applications until the end of July

Police searching for missing Lake Country man

David Anthony Jenken, 65, was reported missing Friday and was last seen on June 28

‘Justice for Mona’ protests planned in Kelowna, Lower Mainland

Security camera footage shows Mona Wang being dragged, stepped on during RCMP wellness check

Mini prom celebrates 13 Lake Country grads

Grad’s sister marks occasion with small prom for close friends from quarantine Class of 2020 amid COVID-19

VIDEO: Musqueam Chief captures captivating footage of bald eagle catching meal

‘This is why we have chosen to live here since time immemorial,’ Chief Wayne Sparrow’s nephew says

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Shuswap resident spots waterspout near Salmon Arm

The rare weather event was spotted early in the morning on July 4.

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

Seymour Arm landslide interrupts drinking water to 500 people

The July 3 slide damaged a water system and a logging road.

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read