Test currently lacking for driving impaired due to marijuana

Test currently lacking for driving impaired due to marijuana

On behalf of Neuberger & Partners LLP posted in Criminal Defence on Friday May 20, 2016.

As readers are likely well aware, the laws in place in Ontario regarding drunk driving are well established. The same cannot be said however for impaired driving due to marijuana. Currently law enforcement does not have a good way to determine whether someone who is believed to be high from pot, is in fact too impaired to drive. With the possibility of marijuana becoming legal becoming more and more of a reality, some are concerned such a change could result in more drivers taking to the road after first using the drug.

Because the breathalyser test administered to drivers to determine whether they are driving while drunk, does not work for drivers impaired by drugs, there is a push to create tests that will accurately determine whether a driver is too intoxicated to be behind the wheel. According to the chief executive officer of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, a roadside saliva tester is in the works.

He said the apparatus would be able to determine not only what drug the driver is on, but how much is in his or her system. This information would be obtained through a swab of the driver’s saliva. A second test would follow the first if it indicated the level of the drug was over a set limit.

In the meantime, drivers who are accused of impaired driving due to marijuana use may not know what to expect. Since guidelines are somewhat unclear, this is unsurprising. As is the case with any criminal charge, the sooner the assistance of a criminal defence lawyer is sought, the better.


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