Friday is checkpoint day in Nova Scotia.
June 27, RCMP are holding traffic stops across the province to look for drug-impaired drivers as part of National Impaired Driving Enforcement Strategy.
“Motorists must take responsibility for their driving decisions and passengers have to be accountable for their decision to drive with someone who is impaired,” says drug recognition expert and member of the Traffic Services Unit, Const. Mark Skinner.
Specially trained drug recognition experts like Skinner, the RCMP say, “can determine if a person is impaired by drugs using standardized series of tests and evaluation processes. In conjunction with toxicology results and driving evidence, these can be used as evidence in court.”
“People are wrong if they think because an officer cannot smell the odour of a drug that it cannot be otherwise detected,” adds Skinner.
Indicators for marijuana use, he said, include:
· Diminished inhibitions;
· Impaired perception of time and distance ;
· Eyelid and body tremors;
· Difficulty in dividing attention;
· Residue in mouth;
· Dilated pupils; and
· Increased pulse rate, blood pressure.
“We are trained to detect drivers who are 'high', regardless of what drug they’ve taken,” he said, adding the tests are conclusive enough to arrest a driver.
Citizens who spot a suspected impaired driver are asked to call 911 and report the location, description of the driver and/or vehicle and licence plate information.