December 22, 2016 9:46 am
Updated: December 22, 2016 10:44 am

New tool for law enforcement tests drivers for influence of drugs

ABOVE: Police officers are being given a new tool to catch impaired driving. As Paul Johnson reports, it’s part of a nationwide pilot project.


Police officers are getting a new tool as they try to keep dangerous drivers off our roads this holiday season.

The new equipment is part of a nationwide pilot project aimed at catching drivers under the influence of various substances.

Vancouver Police officers are part of the project and are testing the new roadside screening device, which analyzes saliva for traces of drugs such as cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine and opioids.

Law enforcement officials are trying to find a way to identify someone who is under the influence of drugs.

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“There’s almost this myth, particularly if you’re impaired by marijuana, that you’re either just as safe as a sober driver, or in some cases I’ve actually heard people make the claim that you’re safer,” said Cst. Ian MacDonald with the Abbotsford Police Department. “And this to me is completely mind-boggling.”

Participation in the project in anonymous and voluntary. If the driver did end up testing positive for drugs they would not face any charges.

Police officers can currently conduct a standard field sobriety test if they suspect the driver is impaired. Then a specially trained officer can be called to conduct a drug evaluation.

-With files from The Canadian Press

© 2016 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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