2. Learn about drug evaluation tests

What are the rules about using cannabis and driving?
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2. Learn about drug evaluation tests

The police can ask you to take tests if they think you've been using cannabis and driving. For example, they can demand that you do a roadside Standardized Field Sobriety Test if they suspect you have drugs in your body. They may ask you to stand on one leg or walk in a straight line. This test checks whether your ability to drive has been impaired by drug use.

You don't have the right to talk to a lawyer before taking the Standardized Field Sobriety Test. You don't have the right to refuse a Standardized Field Sobriety Test.

Oral screening device

The government has approved a saliva collection kit and reader to test for cocaine and THC. They are not yet available, but soon police officers will start to use these devices to test your saliva for cannabis. They will be allowed to demand that you give a saliva sample if they think you're impaired by cannabis during a lawful road stop.

The government of Canada is reviewing these devices. Approved devices may become available for use in 2019.

If during a lawful roadside stop the police think you may be driving while impaired by drugs, they can demand a saliva sample. They must have reasonable grounds to believe you are impaired based on things they can observe.

For example, they may think you've been driving while impaired by drugs if:

  • your eyes are red
  • you're trembling
  • you're acting agitated
  • your speech is slurred or abnormal in some other way

The oral screening devices are accurate. They do not cut or harm your body. They detect the presence of drugs in saliva, similar to devices used to detect alcohol levels.

If drugs are found in your saliva, it may help give the police reasonable grounds to charge you with an offence. If they believe they have reasonable grounds, they can demand a drug recognition evaluation or a blood sample at the police station.

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Department of Justice Canada
Reviewed: October 17, 2018

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