Use of roadside saliva tests for cannabis impairment remain in question

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Six months after legalization, there are serious concerns about the effectiveness of the technology being used in roadside tests.

The Drager DrugTest 5000 remains the only technology approved by Ottawa to test a driver’s saliva for concentration of THC, the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis.

Media reports say that the Drager DrugTest 5000 saliva test was never designed to test for impairment.

It then remains just one tool of many that law enforcement utilizes in order to assess impairment and road safety.

Meanwhile law enforcement needs to balance cannabis users’ rights with the importance of keeping roads safe.

If a driver fails the roadside test, the result can be used in developing “reasonable grounds” to believe that a drug-impaired driving offence has occurred and also give the officer grounds to investigate further.

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As of October 1, there were more than 13,000 law enforcement officers trained in standardized field sobriety testing and 833 officers trained as drug recognition experts across Canada. Further training is underway.

Some police departments are declining to use the saliva test. -CINEWS

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