Yukon RCMP say about two dozen officers are trained to detect and investigate impaired driving in the wake of cannabis legalization. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)

Yukon RCMP has about two-dozen officers trained in impaired driving detection, investigation

More officers to be trained in the new year, spokesperson Coralee Reid wrote in an email

The Yukon RCMP currently has about two dozen officers who have received training in detecting and investigating suspected impaired driving, with more expected to be trained in the new year.

The training is related to a national push by the RCMP to prepare for what it claims will be an uptick in drug-impaired driving cases following the legalization of cannabis earlier this month.

In an email Oct. 18, Yukon RCMP spokesperson Coralee Reid confirmed that the force currently has “approximately 20” members trained to administer standard field sobriety testing, with the aim to have 30 trained by January.

A standard field sobriety test usually takes place roadside, during which, according to the RCMP’s website, an officer will examine a suspected impaired driver’s eyes and ask the driver to complete a walk-and-turn and stand-on-one-leg test.

Reid also confirmed that Yukon RCMP currently has one officer trained as a drug recognition expert, with two additional officers to be trained in November and January.

Drug recognition experts receive special accreditation that allows them to administer the standard field sobriety test as well as a series of other assessments, including the “divided attention” test (which involves the driver completing tasks like walking in a straight line heel-to-toe), checking physical signs like blood pressure, pupil size and muscle tone and taking a urine, saliva or blood sample for toxicology.

Reid said that, after January, officers would be sent for drug recognition expert training as courses are scheduled.

As well, Reid confirmed that the Yukon RCMP will be getting a Draeger DrugTest 5000, a machine which can detect levels of THC, the main psychoactive compound in cannabis, in saliva samples. The force is currently in the “procurement process” and doesn’t have an estimated delivery date yet, she wrote.

Nationally, the effectiveness and accuracy of the Draeger DrugTest 5000 has been up for debate; a report from CTV in August cited a study that found the device detected a false-positive for 14.5 per cent of drivers and a false-negative for 13.5 per cent when compared to blood samples.

CTV’s report also said that the device has an operation temperature ranging between four to 40 C.

In her email, Reid wrote that, in relation to questions about the device’s ability to function in cold climates, the Yukon RCMP believes “the device will operate in the northern environment, as designed.”

Contact Jackie Hong at jackie.hong@yukon-news.com

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Two doctors in Watson Lake say they are at risk of losing their housing due to a Yukon Housing Corporation policy that only allows one pet per family. (Wikimedia Commons)
Healthcare workers in Watson Lake say housing pet policy could force them to leave

The Yukon Housing Corporation has threatened evictions for having more than one pet

The Many Rivers Counselling and Support Services building in Whitehorse on March 28, 2019. Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed for good say they were relieved to hear that the Yukon RCMP has undertaken a forensic audit into the now-defunct NGO’s financial affairs. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Former Many Rivers board members relieved to hear about forensic audit, wonder what took so long

Three people who sat on Many Rivers’ board immediately before it closed… Continue reading

Whitehorse General Hospital in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. The Yukon Employees’ Union and Yukon Hospital Corporation are at odds over whether there’s a critical staffing shortage at the territory’s hospitals. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
YEU, Yukon Hospital Corp. at odds over whether hospitals are understaffed

YEU says four nurses quit within 12 hours last week, a claim the YHC says is “inaccurate”

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates, Ray Hartling and Mark Lange, have filed a class action against the jail, corrections officials and Yukon government on behalf of everyone who’s been placed in two restrictive units over the past six years. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Class action filed against Whitehorse Correctional Centre over use of segregation

Two former Whitehorse Correctional Centre inmates have filed a class action against… Continue reading

asdf
WYATT’S WORLD

Wyatt’s World for Oct. 21, 2020

Education Minister Tracy-Anne McPhee, right, before question period at the Yukon legislative assembly in Whitehorse on March 7, 2019. The Yukon government announced Oct. 19 it has increased the honoraria rates for school council members. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Honoraria increased for school council members

Members of school councils throughout the territory could soon receive an increased… Continue reading

Triple J’s Canna Space in Whitehorse on April 17, 2019, opens their first container of product. Two years after Canada legalized the sale of cannabis, Yukon leads the country in per capita legal sales. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon leads Canadian cannabis sales two years after legalization

Private retailers still asking for changes that would allow online sales

A sign greets guests near the entrance of the Canada Games Centre in Whitehorse on June 11. The city announced Oct. 16 it was moving into the next part of its phased reopening plan with spectator seating areas open at a reduced capacity to allow for physical distancing. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
CGC reopening continues

Limited spectator seating now available

During Whitehorse city council’s Oct. 19 meeting, planning manager Mélodie Simard brought forward a recommendation that a proposed Official Community Plan amendment move forward that would designate a 56.3 hectare piece of land in Whistle Bend, currently designated as green space, as urban residential use. (Courtesy City of Whitehorse)
More development in Whistle Bend contemplated

OCP change would be the first of several steps to develop future area

asdf
EDITORIAL: Don’t let the City of Whitehorse distract you

A little over two weeks after Whitehorse city council voted to give… Continue reading

Whitehorse City Hall. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
City hall, briefly

A look at decisions made by Whitehorse city council this week

Northwestel has released the proposed prices for its unlimited plans. Unlimited internet in Whitehorse and Carcross could cost users between $160.95 and $249.95 per month depending on their choice of package. (Yukon News file)
Unlimited internet options outlined

Will require CRTC approval before Northwestel makes them available

Legislative assembly on the last day of the fall sitting in Whitehorse. Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting instead of 30 days to make up for lost time caused by COVID-19 in the spring. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Legislative assembly sitting extended

Yukon’s territorial government will sit for 45 days this sitting. The extension… Continue reading

Most Read