In the weeks leading up to legalization, several alarming reports began floating around about the new ways that Canada's police force would be checking for impaired driving at the roadside. These include a modern handheld saliva testing device, as well as the right for police officers to demand a blood sample if they suspect a driver of drug impairment.
Rest assured, though, because the method cops are using is essentially still the same as it was before legalization. According to a report by the CBC, the RCMP says that they're "not there yet" when it comes to implementing anything new into their sobriety testing strategy.
"It's important for Canadians to realize that we don't have a tool right now, a similar on the alcohol side, a machine that will actually print out something that says 'you are this, you are that.' We do not have that," Chief Supt. Dennis Daley told CBC.
The handheld saliva testing device, called the Drager DrugTest 5000, was approved for use by the Department of Justice. But, most RCMP units across Canada are still refusing to use it until its proven to be reliable. The device is used by officers in cities all over the world, but Canada's extreme winter temperatures could cause it to malfunction.
Several cities across Canada, including Ottawa, have outright refused to use the technology and many police forces have yet to order any, the CBC reports.
So, as of right now, this is what a typical drug-impaired driving test looks like. If an officer suspects you of driving high, you'll be subjected to a roadside standard field sobriety test, which includes a few walking and balancing tests and an eye examination.
If you fail, the officer has the right to take you to the station where a Drug Recognition Expert employed by the police force will take you through a 12-step impairment detection process. These include checking your pulse, your blood pressure, and other physical indicators. Based on the results, you may or may not get charged for drug-impaired driving.
If you're caught driving high, one thing you can certainly count on is a severe penalty. Here is the complete list of impaired driving-related charges and fines in Canada.