Now that marijuana is legal, Kingston police are stepping up enforcement on the roads and making sure their officers are ready to recognize if drivers have smoked up before hitting the road.
Although it may seem like everyone has pot on the brain, on day two of legalization, it seems like business as usual in Kingston.
“To my knowledge, I haven’t seen any issues with drug-impaired driving relating to cannabis,” said Constable Fil Wisniak with Kingston Police.
Police say they have several methods in place to sniff out drivers under the influence of marijuana and other drugs.
Const. Wisniak patrols Kingston’s streets, and says police will be vigilant in watching the roads.
“With Kingston police, we’re ready and we’ve been putting a process in place.”
Wisniak has been a part of the pot preparation process. He is trained as a drug recognition expert, which means he knows how to tell when drivers may be under the influence of drugs.
“We do a series of eye examinations and psychophysical tests. A balanced, one-leg balance test and a walk and turn test.”
There are at least two drug recognition experts now trained in Kingston. Wisniak says a number of officers have already trained in standard field sobriety testing, and that with the two types of training, officers will have a good idea of who could be driving while high.
“They are able to determine some level of impairment if they perform poorly on the standard field sobriety test,” Wizniak said. “They would be brought into the station to see a drug recognition expert.”
As for the controversial Dreger breathalyzer, Kingston police say they’re still looking into it. The device tests saliva for THC levels. It has been shown to be inaccurate because it can pick up trace amounts of THC, and can’t determine whether a person smoked up hours or days before.
And despite all the hype around cannabis, Wisniak says Kingston police haven’t caught anyone high behind the wheel, but they will be ready if they do.
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