RCMP to receive new training on how to detect drug-impaired driving

Man with cigarette in car. GregorBister /Getty Images

As the Liberal government inches closer to legalizing marijuana, the RCMP is updating its training for officers to detect impaired driving.

Along with the standard field sobriety testing, officers will now also go through a curriculum called “Introduction to Drug Impaired Driving.” Mounties who have already had the standard training will be given access to an online version of the course, a release from Public Safety states.

“People who think drugs do not impair their driving ability are selfish and dangerous,” Public Saftey Minister Ralph Goodale said in the release.

“Drug-impaired driving is illegal and will not be tolerated. The increased training for police and border services officers will help keep our roads safe from drug-impaired drivers who put their own needs above the safety of their passengers, other drivers, cyclists and pedestrians.”

WATCH: Legal marijuana driving rules

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In 2016, there were 3,098 drugged driving charges, according to statistics from the RCMP, which is an 11 per cent increase from 2015.

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A recent study from UBC showed there was a 12 per cent increase in car crashes on April 20th (a.k.a. 420).

READ MORE: Risk of fatal car crash on 4/20 is 12% higher than a normal day: study

About 28 per cent of people who use cannabis say they have driven after partaking, despite the fact it is illegal to do so.

But RCMP Commissioner Brenda Lucki said in the release that “driving after using drugs, even some prescription drugs, is just as dangerous as drinking and driving.”

“Everyone has a role to play in road safety.”

Along with the RCMP officers, Canadian border security officers will also be given the training.

WATCH: High percentage of young adults who frequently smoke pot drive while under drug’s influence: B.C. study 

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Marijuana is expected to be legalized by Parliament in the early fall of 2018.


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