The Canadian government took another step towards permitting the use of roadside screening devices to detect drugs in impaired drivers when Bill S-230, also known as the Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Act, was put through its First Reading in the House of Commons on February 9, 2017.
The Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Act was first introduced in the Canadian Senate in October, 2016 before ultimately being passed by the Senate just before Christmas.
The Criminal Code, as presently constituted, does not allow peace officers to use roadside screening devices to detect the presence of drugs in impaired drivers. The Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Act would amend the Criminal Code to allow the use of such devices.
While many could argue that legislation such as the Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Act is long overdue, others would point out that the science necessary to give the legislation teeth did not exist until recently. In any event, given the Federal Government’s commitment to tabling legislation to legalize recreational use of cannabis this Spring, seeing the Drug-Impaired Driving Detection Act make its way through the legislative process is a welcome sign.