As the federal government moves to legalize marijuana, Halifax Regional Police are testing out their part of a pilot project of roadside drug testing devices.
Const. Kristine Fraser of HRP says officers will ask drivers for a saliva sample. She says it’s like a breathalyzer – but instead of your breath, the machine takes oral fluid for drug testing.
“Halifax Regional Police along with various other agencies across Canada are partnering with Public Safety Canada to test two roadside devices to detect the presence of any illegal substance,” Const. Fraser said.
Halifax police are one of six departments across the country participating in the voluntary pilot program. Right now, saliva is being used for research purposes only.
The device will allow officers to take you to a drug enforcement officer if an illegal substance is detected.
Each time the officers take a sample, they fill out a report, which will help the government determine which device will be used to enforce its new laws.
“What this will do is put a tool in the hands of every frontline police officer,” Const. Fraser said.
Forty to 50 drivers have done the test so far. Halifax police say they will do this for the next month or so and will submit data to the federal government by the end of February.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Kayla Hounsell.