RCMP look for cannabis-impaired drivers during enforcement campaign

RCMP look for cannabis-impaired drivers during enforcement campaign

(Richard McGuire file photo)

Recreational cannabis is now legal and RCMP in the area are working to keep drug-impaired drivers from getting behind the wheel.

Members of the RCMP South Okanagan Traffic Services (SOTS) spent the weekend conducting an enhanced impaired driving enforcement campaign.

“The aim of the campaign was to remove any alcohol or drug impaired drivers from the roadway,” said Corporal Ryan McLeod in a news release.

All SOTS members are trained in Standardized Field Sobriety Testing (SFST) and officers can detect both alcohol and drug impaired drivers.

Over the weekend, officers conducted road checks in Penticton, Osoyoos, Oliver and Keremeos.

“One driver was observed and suspected to be under the influence of cannabis,” McLeod said.

The driver, from Penticton, was subjected to SFST and following that, an evaluation by a Drug Recognition Expert.

“The result confirmed impairment and the driver’s licence was suspended roadside.”

Several violation tickets were also issued throughout the South Okanagan under the new Cannabis Control and Licensing Act, including two minors found in possession of cannabis ($230 each) and 10 violations for possessing cannabis within a motor vehicle, readily accessible to either driver or passengers ($230 each).

Six alcohol impaired drivers were also removed from the roadway, McLeod said.

“Local officers are trained and prepared to deal with drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol. It is recommended that motorists do not drive under the influence of cannabis or alcohol. There can be criminal consequences in either case.”

Anyone planning to possess, transport or otherwise use cannabis should educate themselves with the related legislation of the Cannabis Control and Licensing Act to avoid penalties, McLeod suggests.