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

South Surrey/White Rock grandmothers raise $8,000 while reducing plastic waste

Oneness Gogos started making, and selling, reusable produce bags

White Rock butterfly release ‘emotional, uplifting’

Second annual event raises $1,250 for Peace Arch Hospice Society

Securing Olympic spot the latest test for Canadian softball squad at Surrey tournament

Softball hasn’t been included in the Games since 2008 when Canada finished fourth in Beijing

South Surrey-White Rock candidates weigh in on SNC-Lavalin affair

Polls show support for top federal parties even after ethics report

City Dream Centres hands out 1,000 backpacks at back to school event in Surrey

This is the fifth year the charity is hosting the event in the city

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. VIEWS: Pipelines set to roll as federal politicians posture

Projects to drive B.C., Canadian economy in years ahead

B.C. Lions fall to 1-9 after 13-10 loss to Ticats

Lowly Leos have dropped six straight CFL contests

VIDEO: B.C. woman meets biological mother, 38 years later

Mother never gave up hope of finding daughter, despite all the obstacles

B.C. man who died after rescuing swimmer was known for helping others

Shaun Nugent described as a dad, a coach, a hero and ‘stand-up guy’ at celebration of life

B.C. RCMP plane chases fleeing helicopter as part of major cross-border drug bust

The helicopter eventually landed at a rural property near Chilliwack

Border crossings across Lower Mainland seeing lengthy delays

Sumas, Peace Arch and Surrey-Blaine border crossings seeing long wait times

Thousands cycle to conquer cancer

The 11th annual Ride to Conquer Cancer took place Saturday morning, Aug. 24 in Surrey, B.C.

PHOTOS: Brazil military begins operations to fight Amazon fires

Amazon fires have become a global issue, escalating tensions between Brazil and European countries

Most Read

l -->