Some police forces question roadside marijuana impairment gauge

Some police forces question roadside marijuana impairment gauge

VANCOUVER — Some Canadian police forces are hesitant to use a federally approved roadside test for marijuana impairment, raising questions about the Liberal government’s decision to give the devices the green light.

Vancouver’s police department is among those that won’t use the Drager DrugTest 5000 when pot is legalized next month because it says the device doesn’t work in sub-zero temperatures, is bulky and takes too long to produce a sample.

Police in Delta, B.C., say their officers won’t use the device this year but the department hasn’t made a decision about 2019, while Edmonton Police and B.C.’s provincial RCMP say no decisions have been made yet.

Rob Clark, managing director of Drager Canada, says misinformation has been spreading about the devices and it’s important to remember that police forces do take time to adopt new technologies.

He says the main part of the device is supposed to remain in police vehicles where it is protected from the cold, while the part that collects the saliva can be heated up when plugged into the machine in the car.

Vancouver lawyer Kyla Lee says she’s planning a constitutional challenge of the devices and says the time it takes to produce a result is at odds with charter rights.

The Canadian Press

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