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)

Vancouver, Delta police 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.

Just Posted

Halloween Calendar

Family friendly events happening around Surrey

Surrey landlord’s petition to overturn RTB decision fails

Case involved former tenant evicted from basement suite on grounds his landlord needed it for family

SURREY EVENTS: ‘Classic Scary Movie Marathon’ for Halloween, and more

Concerts, plays, fundraisers and other events in our weekly guide for Surrey

PHOTOS: ‘Young at Heart’ seniors sing and dance again in Surrey ‘bursary show’

The Vaudevillians on Surrey Arts Centre’s main stage Nov. 2-3

Rick Hansen Foundation gives Surrey $105K to make washrooms more accessible

The grants will be used for accessibility upgrades at eight civic sites across the city

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Kawhi Leonard, former Toronto Raptor, welcomed back to Vancouver at pre-season game

Fans go wild at pre-season game between L.A. Clippers and Dallas Mavericks at Rogers Arena

Greens and NDP go head to head on West Coast; Scheer takes fight to Bernier

Trudeau turns focus to key ridings outside Toronto after two days in Quebec

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Scholars say religious vaccine objections can’t be traced to Biblical sources

Vaccinations are a requirement to attend class in Ontario and New Brunswick, while B.C. launched a demand this fall

ELECTION 2019: How would the major parties address Canada’s housing crisis?

Promises include speculation taxes, more affordable housing, and declaring housing a human right

Workers at four Vancouver hotels ratify contract with higher wages, job security

Unite Here Local 40 president Zailda Chan says it’s the first hotel strike in Vancouver in nearly two decades

Japanese buyer expands wood pellet contract with B.C.’s Pinnacle

Mitsui and Co. increases contract with Interior energy producer

Most Read