Monday, March 20, 2023

Drug-impaired driving not a major issue in Lethbridge

Lethbridge Police say drug-impaired driving has increased locally since cannabis was legalized across Canada, now exactly one year ago. However, it’s not as big an issue as they thought it might become.

Sgt. Rod Pastoor with the LPS Traffic Response Unit says officers have tested 14 drivers for drugs in the last year.

But, he also notes that while drunk driving is trending downward, alcohol-impaired driving still outweighs drug-impaired driving in Lethbridge. “I don’t have specific stats when it comes to people caught impaired by marijuana. We’ve had 14 impaireds over the last year because of drugs, but absolutely alcohol is much more than that.”

Sgt. Pastoor notes that the LPS relies on field sobriety testing as well as blood and urine analysis for drug-impaired driving charges while new roadside testing technology is still being developed.

He says officers were prepared for the worst after legalization last October, but it appears that wasn’t the case.

“I’m happy with that,” says Pastoor. “Fourteen is still a lot though and we’d like to see that come down to zero.”

Cannabis was legalized on October 17, 2018.

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