(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

Suspected spill kills hundreds of crayfish, coho in Langley river

A fish kill in the Nicomekl has a biologist concerned for the health of the local ecosystem.

Rams harvest sweet victory in win over Huskers

The Chilliwack team found itself pushed back again and again.

WATCH: Cops for Cancer bring message of hope to Langley school

Young cancer survivors are traveling with the fundraising bike ride.

Langley venue of glass provides bright stage for charity art show

West Fine Arts Show runs Friday to Sunday at South Langley’s Glass House Estate Winery.

Driver of pickup stolen from Langley crashes into car in Abbotsford

No serious injuries in collision on Monday night

B.C. RCMP turn to Const. Scarecrow to shock speeders into slowing down

New addition will watch over drivers from a Coquitlam median for first-of-its-kind pilot in Canada

Aldergrove soccer forward enjoys scoring spree

UFV Cascades’ Jhaj named Canada West second star of the week

B.C. home to 1/3 of Canada’s overdose deaths in first 3 months of the year

There were 1,036 overdose deaths in the first three months of the year, with 94 per cent accidental

B.C. candidate moves from hospice care to council race

He beat terminal cancer twice and entered hospice when he decided to run for council.

Canadian tobacco exec pushes back against vaping health concerns

A warning from Interior Health about the unknown health risks of vaping is getting a partial rebuke

New ‘meowyoral’ race featuring felines announced by B.C. animal shelter

Organizers hope the cat election will generate attention for shelter and local municipal election

Ministry of Agriculture commits $300,000 to help B.C. farmers obtain land

B.C. Land Matching Program supports access to affordable farmland for young farmers

Lower Mainland city calls for slower trains near popular beach

Surrey Mayor Linda Hepner said ‘it’s the least we can do’

Most Read