Legal pot: Roadside drug tests raise civil liberties red flags

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Federal Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould announced the approval of roadside drug screening machines yesterday, after a 30 day public consultation period. This announcement comes following the passage of Bill C-46 earlier this year, which amends the Criminal Code, addressing drug-impaired driving and roadside testing.

The approved device, the Dräger DrugTest® 5000, tests for the presence of several drug types in a single bodily fluids test. A promotional video for the devices shows the test being administered with a swab of the inside of the mouth, collecting saliva to be analyzed on site by a testing machine. The device is capable of testing for cocaine, opiates, benzodiazepines, cannabis, amphetamine and methamphetamine.

Expanded police powers
Bill C-46, which received Royal Assent in June was introduced alongside the Liberal government’s cannabis legalization bill (C-45) and gives peace officers the power to compel individuals to submit to a bodily fluids test for drug intoxication with reasonable grounds to suspect that the individual is impaired. The new machines will be made available to police across the country and are to be used in addition to or as an alternative to standard field sobriety tests currently in use by law enforcement. Police powers to compel individuals to take the test apply to a period within three hours of operating a motor vehicle.

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Dean Tea – The Post Millennial – August 28, 2018.

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