The Canadian Government Just Approved Roadside Saliva Tests To Crack Down On Drug-Impaired Driving

The federal Justice Department has announced the approval of roadside swab tests to detect traces of THC in saliva.
The Canadian Government Just Approved Roadside Saliva Tests To Crack Down On Drug-Impaired Driving

Canada's Justice Department has approved roadside swab tests as a new method to crack down on smoking and driving. The test would be the first of its kind in Canada, used by police officers to instantly check saliva for traces of THC - the psychoactive component in marijuana.

The approval is part of Canada'smajor overhaul to impaired driving laws, Bill C-46, which passed last month. In addition to roadside saliva tests, police can also demand breathalyzer tests from any driver without having to suspect impairment. 

READ ALSO: Canadians Are Livid Over The New Impaired Driving Laws That Allow Officers To Give Roadside Blood Tests

The saliva testing device is able to immediately detect traces of cocaine and THC use within the last six hours. Once the final model for the device is created, police officers can swab a driver's mouth and get results in real time.

The device will be a much more accurate and reliable upgrade to the current field sobriety test used by police officers, in which drivers are asked to walk in a straight line or stand on one foot. 

As for the device itself, the federal government is considering the  Draeger DrugTest 5000, a German-made mobile drug screening system that uses oral fluid to detect seven types of commonly abused drugs, such as THC and cocaine. The device is described as non-invasive, and is already approved for use in the United Kingdom and Germany.

Via Draeger Drug Test

However, the device may need to be modified to withstand Canada's harsh winter climate. According to the Ottawa Citizen, tests of the device in the Northwest Territories and Saskatchewan concluded that "there were some temperature-related issues that arose when the devices were used in extremely cold temperatures.”

The federal government is reportedly investing $81 million over a five-year period to buy screening devices and provide officers with more comprehensive training on drug-impaired driving. 

Canada's advanced impaired driving laws are slated to be in full effect by the time recreational marijuana becomes legalized across the country in October.

Source: Ottawa Citizen

More from Narcity

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.

Loading...