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Provinces need more info about marijuana impairment testing technology: BC

Currently, drug recognition officers do sobriety tests rather than testing of bodily fluids


May 2, 2018
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VANCOUVER—British Columbia may have unveiled its plan for regulating recreational marijuana, but the enforcement and testing for drug-impaired driving remains hazy.

Solicitor General Mike Farnworth says the provinces need to hear “ASAP” from the federal government about what technology might be approved in testing for drug-impairment.

Currently, specially trained drug recognition officers conduct field sobriety tests based largely on visual assessments, rather than testing of bodily fluids.

Retired RCMP officer Steven Maxwell, who has trained officers on the field tests in Ontario and Quebec, says he believes recognition tests are very accurate—when conducted properly.

Farnworth says new testing devices could shape the way they regulate drugged driving and while he’s been told the federal government has confidence in some technology, he hasn’t heard what that is yet.

Federal Bill C-46, which proposes driving limits for drugs and new roadside testing devices, is under review by a parliamentary senate committee.