Along with the issue of cannabis legalization comes the worry over impaired drivers on the road, and the Supreme Court of Canada will now be looking at the matter. More specifically, the highest court in the nation will be looking at the aspect of drug recognition experts when it comes to impaired drivers who have used illegal drugs.
Drug recognition experts are officers that are specially trained to identify alcohol and drug impaired drivers on the roads.
The case at hand is involving a man from Ontario who had been charged in 2009, acquitted twice, followed by both of those acquittals being overturned by higher courts.
We have recently been writing about groups such as MADD Canada and OSL that are advocating for measures to be to counter the expected increase in impaired drivers after cannabis legalization happens. In the state of Colorado, new roadside testing devices are being tried out on a voluntary basis. The police of both the U.S. And Canada will likely be looking to make some new type of roadside testing a standard practice as this issue of impaired driving will only grow from here.
In this case that will go before the supreme court, the science behind the drug recognition expert’s training wasn’t proved to be reliable by the Crown, according to a trial judge. This was followed by the Ontario Court of Appeal and a higher court ruling that the testimony of the expert is reliable and admissible, and that a third trial will have to take place.
The outcome of this case will certainly set an important precedent regarding impaired driving and cannabis use.