15 roadside drug test machines coming to Saskatchewan

Fifteen roadside screening devices that test for drug-impaired driving will be coming to Saskatchewan in 2019. 

The province plans to buy them from Draeger Safety Canada Limited, supplier of the federally approved Draeger Drug Test 5000 and collection kit. 

Police will use the devices on drivers suspected of being impaired by drugs. The machine tests saliva for both cocaine and THC, the main ingredient in marijuana that makes someone high.

A positive result would allow police to investigate further and ask for a blood sample. 


6 to municipal police, 9 to RCMP

A spokesperson with the Ministry of Corrections and Policing said Friday six of the devices will be given to municipal police services: one each in Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Weyburn, Prince Albert and Estevan. 

Nine more will be purchased and given to the Saskatchewan RCMP to be used around the province. 

$6,000 price tag per machine

Each device costs $6,000, according to the spokesperson, with the money to pay for them coming from Ottawa. 

The purchase of the devices comes in response to the legalization of recreational marijuana.

Some lawyers have raised concerns about the validity of the tests.

Andrew Mason, president of the Saskatoon Criminal Defence Lawyers' Association, has previously told CBC while the devices will indicate what level of THC someone has is their system there is no agreed-upon relationship between the THC level and level of impairment. 

CBC has asked the government when the devices will arrive and is awaiting a response. 

Regina police chief Evan Bray also told CBC he anticipates police will be challenged in court on testing for cannabis-impaired driving because the laws are "relatively untested."

-With files from the CBC's Dan Zakreski