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

City of Surrey says pension benefits ‘guaranteed’ for police recruits

A National Police Federation representative says it may not be enough incentive

Surrey-area teens will have a ball at Christmas, thanks to collection effort

Realty company’s Bring on the Balls campaign now in its third year

City ready for ride-hailing, says Delta mayor

The city has set up business licence fees for ride-hailing on par with what taxis in Delta pay

Surrey groups receive funding for training support for people 55-plus

PICS getting $728K to help 120 people over two years

Gift-wrapping tips from a new-to-Surrey pro

Nikki Pursani aims to bring ‘happiness and excitement’ with her Wrapped by Nikki enterprise

VIDEO: More air-passenger rights go into effect this weekend

The first set of passenger rights arrived in mid-July in Canada

Mayor wants B.C. to institutionalize severely mental ill people who are homeless

Those suffering from mental health conditions, such as schizophrenia, need specialized care, mayor says

Five things of note from Trudeau’s mandate letters to his ministers

Some marching orders come from the Liberal Party’s campaign, while others are new additions

Scheer’s resignation tips party into internal war over school tuition payments

The Conservatives have a Toronto convention already scheduled for April

Aid a priority for idled Vancouver Island loggers, John Horgan says

Steelworkers, Western Forest Products returning to mediation

Navigating ‘fever phobia’: B.C. doctor gives tips on when a sick kid should get to the ER

Any temperature above 38 C is considered a fever, but not all cases warrant a trip to the hospital

Transportation Safety Board finishes work at B.C. plane crash site, investigation continues

Transport Canada provides information bulletin, family of victim releases statement

Trudeau sets 2025 deadline to remove B.C. fish farms

Foes heartened by plan to transition aquaculture found in Fisheries minister mandate letter

Planning price tag for futuristic ‘We Town’ concept in Abbotsford revealed

Developer says highrises would house 30,000, but Abbotsford mayor says project is in wrong place

Most Read