Blue Line

Feds set to approve second roadside drug detection device

May 30, 2019  By Staff

“The federal government is set to approve a second roadside drug detection device for roadside saliva tests to determine marijuana impairment,” CTV reported at the end of April.

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According to a Department of Justice order published recently in the Canada Gazette, the government is proposing to amend the list of approved drug screening equipment to add the device called SoToxa.

Specifically, the government is looking to expand the list of approved equipment to include three pieces of SoToxa equipment intended to be used together: The main SoToxa device itself, as well as the test cartridge and oral fluid collection device.

“Approval of the SoToxa™, the Abbott SoToxa™ Test Cartridge and the Abbott SoToxa™ Oral Fluid Collection Device, when used together, as ‘approved drug screening equipment,’ would permit its use by law enforcement. A positive result would be a strong indication of recent use,” the order reads.

An independent committee comprised of forensic toxicologists — called the Drugs and Driving Committee of the Canadian Society of Forensic Science — evaluated the SoToxa and has recommended the drug screen be approved by Attorney General David Lametti. As of April 25, 2019, it was in the midst of a 30-day public consultation window, and the device has yet to be approved. Should it be granted the go-ahead, it will give police forces across Canada a second choice for testing potentially drug-impaired drivers.

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