There are now multiple ways to detect cannabis use if you are pulled over by a police force in this province. A new portable testing unit that is being distributed has the ability to detect if a driver is driving under the influence of cannabis or a myriad of other intoxicants.
Sergeant Mark Hume of the RCMP says the system is slowly being integrated into use by front-line officers in Winnipeg right now.
"There is the roadside drug screening device where the officer swabs the person's mouth and it tests for cannabis," says Hume. "People might see themselves subjected to that if they've been using cannabis or suspected of using it or any other drug really. We've just ordered them, we're actually waiting right now. Winnipeg city police have just put theirs into use a couple weeks ago. The rest of us are just waiting for them to show up. It will be a while before they are out in large-scale use though that's for sure."
In the meantime, Hume says they have other methods of determining whether a person is driving while impaired.
"One other way is called the physical coordination test, people have probably seen this on TV a lot," says Hume. "This is where the officer uses a pen and they follow the pen back and forth with their eye. They walk a line and there is also a balance test as well. There are three tests involved in it."
It is unknown the exact date when the RCMP will receive the testing units.