Cannabis detection: Roadside mouth swabs proposed in Canada

A request to walk in a straight line, or take a breathalyzer test, may be expected if you are pulled over under suspicion of drunk driving. But what options are available to police officers when they suspect someone has been driving under the influence of cannabis? This is a question many Canadians have asked since the country announced the legalization of cannabis earlier this year.

See our latest blog entry for more information.

Shortly after the announcement, proposed bills outlining potential detection methods were put forward to the federal government. However, federal lawmakers wanted to make sure they had enough data on how these devices would work in the field before they made any decisions. The bills were set aside until more information could be provided.

A Potential Detection Method Has Been Proposed

Now, it appears, a potential device has been found. According to an article in the National Post, the Draeger DrugTest 5000 has been selected as a possible method of roadside cannabis detection.

The device, created by a German company, is already in use in other countries, and allows for cannabis to be detected using a mouth swab. The technology tests for a specific ingredient in cannabis, known as THC, using the saliva in a person’s mouth.

When Will A Decision Be Made?

The proposed bill outlining cannabis detection measures, known as Bill C-46, has once again been put forward to the government. A decision on the bill is expected to be announced sometime this fall.

It’s important to note that this device is not the only one of it’s kind on the market. While current testing has yielded positive results, the Canadian government is also looking at other types of detection technology before a final decision is made.

What Does This Potential Detection Method Mean For Drivers?

Should the mouth swab detection method be approved, it’s likely that a failed test would result in the suspected driver heading to a police station for further testing to confirm the results of the swab. However, the technology behind these detection devices is not as advanced as scientists and engineers would like it to be, which could raise questions about the accuracy of the results. Depending on the situation, you may need to speak to a legal professional to discover if your legal rights were infringed upon by taking any kind of roadside test.


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