Previously, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould published a notice of intention to approve the first oral roadside test. The Dräger DrugTest 5000 (DDT 5000) is a saliva screening drug equipment for law enforcement.
Oral Roadside Test Approval
On August 27, 2018, the Canadian government approved the first oral roadside test to check for impairment caused by cannabis and / or cocaine. Concerns over rather poor statistics and use in cold temperatures lead Canadian criminal lawyers to predict constitutional challenges.
On February 2, 2018, the Journal of Analytical Toxicology published a study examining the use of the device in Norway.
The DDT 5000 did not absolutely correctly identify DUID (driving under the influence of drugs) offenders due to fairly large proportions of false-positive or false-negative results compared to drug concentrations in blood. The police reported that DDT 5000 was still a valuable tool in identifying possible DUID offenders, resulting in more than doubling the number of apprehended DUID offenders.
Furthermore, Managing Director of Dräger Canada, Rob Clark, declared that the DDT 5000 is suitable for use in extreme weather. Even though the manual states that the device’s operating temperature ranges between 4 and 40 degrees Celsius.
Clark said that the main part of the device is more sensitive. It is the portion that will stay inside the police officers’ vehicle, while the officer will use the oral swap component outdoors.
As the program for the devise will be different for Canada — including measuring for fewer drugs — it will be faster to test each sample. Consequently, we estimate about 4 minutes, as opposed to 10 minutes or more.
Additionally, we have these devices in over 40 jurisdictions around the world, including Finland, Russia at the cold end of the spectrum, and then at the high end of the spectrum, in Saudi Arabia and Australia and so on, so we know that this technology works.
Impaired Driving Laws
Under Bill C-46, the Impaired Driving Act, and Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act, officers need reasonable suspicion to test. If the driver fails the oral roadside test, the police will arrest the suspect for additional testing. A court will not accept the results of a failed oral roadside test as a blood test is required to determine legal impairment.
In the run-up for the marijuana legalization date of October 17, 2018, Minister of Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction, Bill Blair, urges future recreational cannabis users to “be smart, be safe and don’t drive”.
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