Skip links

Feds approve controversial roadside test to help cops catch high drivers

Police are getting access to a new tool to help them test whether drivers are high, less than two months before the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Despite serious concerns raised about the devices, Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould approved the use of the Dräger Drug Test 5000.

The federal government will be providing $81 million to provinces and territories earmarked for the purchase of screening devices and training.


Lawyer Michael Spratt called the system a “recipe for constitutional disaster.”

Describing the test system as a tool police can use to justify more invasive techniques, he said the machine’s results can give officers the grounds to conduct an invasive search or handcuff a driver and take them back to a police station.

“What we know is studies show the machine is going to get that wrong 15 per cent of the time,” he said.

Spratt said he doesn’t think the results of the saliva test will be used in court, but that it still can represent a constitutional intrusion.

“We have to also remember that failure to comply with the police’s demand to submit to this type of test – a test that is unreliable, that gets it wrong either way – is an offence in and of itself and can lead to criminal charges.”

Read Kendra Mangione full article: CTV News

Leave a comment