Pubdate: Thu, 30 Nov 2017
Source: Moose Jaw Times-Herald (CN SN)
Copyright: 2017 The Moose Jaw Times-Herald Group Inc.
Author: Michael Joel-Hansen
Page: 8


Detection tools not available yet

The Government of Saskatchewan announced Tuesday that there will be a
zero tolerance policy for people who drive while impaired by drugs.

Earl Cameron, executive vice president of Auto Fund, said the decision
was made after the federal government passed new laws in anticipation
of marijuana legalization.

"It's because of the three new federal laws, we want to make sure that
our administrative sanctions that we have now, for impaired driving,
mirror these three new charges," he said.

The new attorney general to approve the use of oral fluid screeners,
codify what constitutes reasonable suspicion, and what levels of THC
would result in a criminal charge.

People found to be impaired by drugs like cannabis while driving would
be subject to the same sanctions as someone who is found to be driving
drunk, including suspension of a license, or their vehicle being
impounded. According to Cameron, drivers who are caught while impaired
by drugs will not be forced to install an interlock device on their
vehicles, as is the case for some people convicted of drunk driving.

"The mandatory ignition locks don't read drugs, they only read
alcohol," he said.

The prospect of having to enforce these new laws raises some questions
regarding detection, specifically what tools police officers will be
issued to give them the ability to detect if a driver is impaired by
marijuana. This responsibility falls on the shoulders of the Ministry
of Public Safety in Ottawa. Cameron explained that leading to the
summer legalization, the ministry has been working on picking a device
for police forces to use across Canada.

"The devices, public safety has put them through a rigorous bunch of
testing and they will eventually approve one or two of those devices
to be used," he said.

The devices were tested all over Canada, including a in

"They actually did a pilot across Canada and North Battleford was one
of the locations where the devices were tested," he said.

Cameron said SGI does not yet know what devices will be used in
Saskatchewan by police forces, as the Ministry of Public Safety has
not made a final decision on which ones will be authorized. On its
website, the ministry has made public the results of the pilot program
regarding the testing devices and what they should be able to do. The
report recommended the devices be able to function in very cold
temperatures, have the ability to analyze samples in eight minutes
city or less and be able to back up the results. Cameron said that
what is currently going on in regards to selecting a detection device
is not unheard of, historically speaking, as bringing in breathalyzers
for alcohol went through a similar process.

"They had to be approved, they had to be legislated and then those
become the only devices that can be used," he said.

The devices are not invasive, requiring only a small sample from
someone when they are stopped.

"The roadside screening devices are saliva … they put the swab in the
machine and fairly quickly it tells you whether you're over those per
se limits," Cameron said.
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