Use of roadside saliva tests for cannabis impairment remain in question
The co-chair of the drug policy committee for the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police says many police departments are opting against using the only roadside cannabis test approved by the federal government.
Mike Serr says some officers are wary of the new technology and whether it will stand up in court, while others say they'd prefer a tool that offers a quantitative analysis rather than a simple pass or fail.
The Drager DrugTest 5000 tests for the presence of THC in a driver's saliva but the Justice Department says it is not enough to determine impairment alone.
Department spokeswoman Angela Savard says the test can be used as grounds for an officer to investigate possible impairment further through blood testing, standardized field sobriety testing and by drug recognition experts.
She says there were 13,000 officers trained in standardized field sobriety testing and more than 800 trained as drug recognition experts as six months ago when cannabis was legalized.
Savard says she expects more technology to be recommended and approved in the future, but couldn't comment on ongoing evaluations.