More Sask. drivers losing their license for failing roadside drug tests: SGI

Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) says more drivers are facing license suspensions for failing roadside drug screening tests.

In 2021, police across the province issued 523 license suspensions for failing a drug test, according to SGI.

It’s a sharp spike compared to 2020 SGI data of 76 suspensions.

“Our numbers aren’t substance-specific, but we are seeing more people losing their licenses temporarily for drug use,” SGI spokesperson Tyler McMurchy said.

On Monday, reporters got a first-hand look at how the drug tests work.

The tests were conducted on Kamryn Weisgerber, who smoked a 0.5-gram blunt that morning, and Anya Kinzel-Cadrin who consumed cannabis the night before.

“I smoked a few joints, some bowls and had 40 milligrams of edibles,” Kinzel-Cadrin said.

After a quick oral swab, both tests came back positive.

The tests are pass or fail. Blood work is required to determine THC levels.

Sgt. Patrick Barbar with the Saskatoon Police Service said THC is usually not detected in oral fluid after 12 to 24 hours.

Unlike alcohol, there is a zero tolerance for driving high.

Depending on the situation, drivers under the influence of drugs can face license suspensions, vehicle impoundments, fines or even charges under the criminal code.

“And we’re going to be blunt about this, cannabis is legal — driving while high is not,” McMurchy said.