In this photo illustration, smoke from a cannabis oil vaporizer is seen as the driver is behind the wheel of a car in North Vancouver, B.C., on November 14, 2018.

Federal government funds millions to help B.C. police spot drugged driving

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test

The federal government is boosting funding to help British Columbia police officers recognize drug-impaired drivers, months after it legalized recreational cannabis.

Border Security and Organized Crime Reduction Minister Bill Blair announced funding of $10.1 million over five years to increase the number of officers trained in field sobriety testing and drug recognition.

READ MORE: Early data suggests no post-legalization spike in drug-impaired driving charges

Blair told reporters at a news conference at the Vancouver Police Department that those who believe they aren’t impaired after consuming cannabis are dangerously misinformed and they will be caught.

The funding is part of $81 million announced by the Canadian government for provinces and territories to support road safety and other public initiatives.

The Canadian Press has canvassed police forces across the country and many reported no noticeable spike in stoned driving since legalization, including the Vancouver Police Department.

Many police departments have expressed wariness about using the only government-approved roadside test, the Drager DrugTest 5000, over concern about how its results will hold up in court.

READ MORE: Impaired driving laws creates different classes of offenders, says B.C. lawyer

Drager has defended its test, saying it was never designed to test for impairment, but to identify the presence of THC, the chemical responsible for the high in cannabis, and it’s just one tool of many that police use to assess road safety.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Campbell River Black Lives Matter protest draws nearly 200

Event in solidarity with movement to end systemic racism

NIC biologist on forefront of marine research

NIC biologist on forefront of marine research NIC biology instructor and marine… Continue reading

Campbell River RCMP issue statement in support of a peaceful rally and against racism

The Campbell River RCMP issued a statement in support of a peaceful… Continue reading

Road maintenance work scheduled for Black Creek and Quadra Island

Spring roadside work will be in progress along Highway 19 A and Granite Bay Road on multiple days

VIDEO: B.C. dentist gets grand welcome home after two months in hospital fighting COVID-19

Michael Chow was given a surprise send off by hospital staff and ‘welcome home’ from neighbours

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Mirror business directory and map

If you’d like to be added to the list, shoot us an email

‘Like finding a needle in a haystack’: Ancient arrowhead discovered near Williams Lake

The artifact is believed to be from the Nesikip period between 7,500 BP to 6,000 BP

Indigenous families say their loved ones’ deaths in custody are part of pattern

Nora Martin joins other Indigenous families in calling for a significant shift in policing

Friends, family mourn Salt Spring Island woman killed in suspected murder-suicide

A GoFundMe campaign has been launched for Jennifer Quesnel’s three sons

PHOTOS: Anti-racism protesters gather in communities across B.C.

More protests are expected through the weekend

Indigenous chief alleges RCMP beat him during arrest that began over expired licence plate

Athabasca Chipewyan Chief Allan Adam calling for independent investigation

‘I’m pissed, I’m outraged’: Federal minister calls out police violence against Indigenous people

Indigenous Minister Marc Miller spoke on recent incidents, including fatal shooting of a B.C. woman

Most Read