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Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Owen Sound Police To Get New Saliva Tests

Owen Sound | by Matt Hermiz  

Saliva screening device for marijuana was recently approved for use in Canada

A roadside marijuana screening device recently given federal approval will be utilized by Owen Sound Police.

The Draeger DrugTest 5000 is produced by a German-based company and is Canada's first roadside saliva test given approval to be used by police forces.

"Those are now going to be made available for police services to order," Owen Sound Police Acting Inspector Mike Daze says. "We don't know the exact timing, but we are in the process of ordering those devices."

"We don't know when it will arrive," continues Daze. "When it does, we'll have to roll out training for our officers."

The device allows police to detect recent drug use within about the past six hours.

According to reports, a failed test gives police reasonable grounds to bring a driver in for further examination such as a blood test.

Daze says in addition to the new saliva screening device police can perform standard field sobriety tests to be able to tell is someone is under the influence.

"And at this point, we have nearly every frontline officer trained and qualified to be able to do that testing," Daze explains. "We're well prepared to be able to address those issues and enforcement reality immediately when (marijuana) legalization sets in."

Cannabis is set to become legal in Canada on Oct. 17.

Daze adds Owen Sound Police are committed to enforcing the legislation as it exists and encourages the public to inform themselves of the new rules governing marijuana.

"Legalization still has parameters around it," says Daze. "Our young people aren't legally allowed to possess. You're not going to be allowed to consume the drug out in public, it is (restricted) to your private residence, home or backyard."

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