Prior to a recent amendment to the Criminal Code of Canada, police would test for drug-impaired driving by conducted a roadside standardized field sobriety test, which involves tests such as standing on one foot or walking in a straight line.
The police now have a mobile saliva-testing device which allows a police officer to swab the inside of a driver’s mouth to receive a sample of oral fluid. The oral fluid would then be tested to determined if there was the presence of THC to confirm recent consumption of cannabis or cocaine.
If a driver fails a mobile screening device, the result will be used along with other observations and indicia of impairment to form a police officer’s reasonable grounds that the driver is impaired by drugs. The driver will be arrested and transported to a police detachment for further testing.
Unlike an alcohol-screen device, the science behind a drug-screening device is much less established. There will be many challenges to the reliability of the mobile device and oral fluid testing.