Fraser Valley – October 17 is marked on the calendar for marijuana advocates, as Canada’s new legalized pot laws come into effect.
Impairment from marijuana, like alcohol, is a concern for law and safety enforcement and a number of Canadian police forces are at issue with testing.
The benchmark seems to be a device known as Draeger Drug Test 5000. The issue is that the units are bulky to be placed in police vehicles, they have performance issues at cold temperatures and their accuracy is in question.
Vancouver and Delta Police are not happy with the Draeger unit and will not purchase the device. Police departments in Port Moody, New Westminster, and West Vancouver as well as RCMP have not closed the door to the Draeger, but they are not rushing to get the unit in service. National RCMP spokeswoman, Sgt. Marie Damian, said the force will have “a limited rollout of the device in consultation with provinces and municipalities”.
Abbotsford Police Sgt. Just Bird told FVN: “The Abbotsford Police department will be looking to acquire a Drager 5000 and assess its operational value. We recognize it is one part of the larger piece to detect drug impaired drivers. We have been increasing the number of SFSTs and Drug Recognition Experts to all address drug impaired driving.”
Kyla Lee and Paul Dorshenko with Acumen Law Corporation says “they will file a constitutional challenge of the devices as soon as police use one on a driver who wants to challenge it”. Lee has openly stated that she tried the unit on herself and was immediately concerned over the length of time it took to get a result.