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Sask. RCMP warn motorists against drug-impaired driving

During National Impaired Driving Prevention Week, the Saskatchewan RCMP reminds drivers not to consume alcohol and drugs before getting behind the wheel. Photo supplied: Saskatchewan RCMP

During National Impaired Driving Prevention Week, the Saskatchewan RCMP is emphasizing the dangers of drug-impaired driving.

The Saskatchewan RCMP stated it now has access to roadside oral fluid devices, a small, handheld machine used to detect cannabis use by drivers.

“We have zero tolerance for any kind of impaired driving – and that includes impaired by cannabis (THC),” stated Cpl. Brian Ferguson, Saskatchewan RCMP’s drug recognition evaluator training co-ordinator.

“The roadside oral fluid devices, which are used across Saskatchewan, are helping us identify drivers that have recently consumed cannabis (THC) and to take more potentially impaired drivers off the road.”

RCMP stated that last year, police took 289 drivers off the road for suspected driving while impaired by drug. Ninety-five of these drivers to date have been charged criminally, which may increase as toxicology results are obtained following further investigation.

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“We are working hard to drive home the lesson that drugs, including cannabis (THC), and driving are a dangerous mix,” stated Ferguson.

The RCMP emphasizes that the effects of edibles and mixing cannabis with alcohol can be unpredictable.

“Edibles are a completely different beast,” stated Ferguson. “They can take a long time to kick in. You don’t really know when they are going to take effect, and the effects can last several hours. That needs to be considered before you have to make the decision whether or not you will be able to drive.”

Overall, during National Impaired Driving Prevention Week, the Saskatchewan RCMP reminds drivers that if they choose to use cannabis, alcohol or any other kind of drug that may alter their ability to operate a vehicle to make alternate travel plans.

“Stay home, take transit or a taxi, get a designated driver, do whatever you have to do to not drive impaired,” RCMP stated. “The Saskatchewan RCMP and our partner agencies have absolutely zero tolerance for it, and having more tools like the roadside oral fluid devices will help us with our efforts to keep our roads safe.”

Click to play video: 'Vehicle registered to Saskatchewan premier impounded in Vancouver'
Vehicle registered to Saskatchewan premier impounded in Vancouver

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