WINNIPEG — Winnipeg police said they’re prepared for any changes that may come in federal laws around the legalization of pot.
Whether it’s alcohol, marijuana, or any other type of impairment, Winnipeg police officers said they’re prepared and already battling the impairments on Winnipeg roads.
Officers said it’s perplexing to them, but they hear that people aren’t always aware that smoking pot before driving can impair your abilities.
“It’s very clearly and classically an impairing drug…A lot of the public will think it’s not,” Constable Jason English said.
While officers in Winnipeg aren’t equipped with a specific device to detect marijuana like a breathalyzer detects alcohol, they said they have a much stronger set of tools in their kit.
“It doesn’t take batteries and it’s not weather dependent. It’s the officer and the reliability is there,” English said.
English said there are different levels of testing that take place. This is testing he and other officers have been trained to implement.
“There’s two levels of drug driving intervention on our part. We have a roadside test multiple officers are trained in. And then if they do poorly on a roadside test, that’s where the DRE, the actual Drug Recognition Evaluator , would come in and do the process,” English said.
English said early tests look at coordination, balance, and perception to name a few.
“Things that are impossible to control because they affect your physiology.”
While a specific tool to detect levels of pot in a driver’s system are being tested and used in other cities around the world, they haven’t been approved nor are they used in Winnipeg.
Nonetheless, officers said that will be a helpful additional tool to add to their fight against impaired driving.