Toronto police take part in pilot project to test drivers for drug impairment
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Monday, December 19, 2016 6:15AM EST
Last Updated Monday, December 19, 2016 8:13AM EST
Toronto police will begin testing roadside screening devices for drug-impaired drivers as part of a pilot project that begins Monday.
The pilot project, which runs until the spring of 2017, will be carried out by members of the Toronto Police Service’s traffic unit, Ontario Provincial Police and the RCMP.
The purpose of the project is to test how well officers are able to use the devices in inclement weather conditions, such as rain and snow, and how the devices operate at night.
Police say the devices are not being used for enforcement but officer feedback will help in the development of legislation and procedures related to drug-impaired screening devices.
“None of these devices has been approved for use in the field to aid in the formation of grounds to lay any type of charges,” a news release issued by Toronto police reads.
“If a driver shows no sign of impairment, they are eligible to volunteer. If they do volunteer, and they test positive for the presence of drugs, no further criminal or administrative procedures would be pursued… Any samples gathered during pilot testing will never be used as evidence for the prosecution of either a criminal or administrative offence.”
Toronto police added that participation in the project is “anonymous and voluntary.”
Speaking to CP24 Monday morning, Const. Clint Stibbe said officers have to rule out all types of impairment during a roadside stop before the device can be tested.
He added that five officers with the Toronto Police Service have been assigned to test the devices over the next eight to 10 weeks.