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Saskatoon police show off new screening device for testing drug-impaired drivers – Saskatoon

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It’s a new tool to help law enforcement sniff out if someone’s high on drugs behind the wheel. The Dräger DrugTest 5000 has been distributed to six municipal police services and nine RCMP detachments in Saskatchewan as officers begin to train to use the device.

The Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) was issued its instrument approximately two weeks ago and held a show-and-tell to demonstrate how the machine works.


READ MORE:
352 impaired driving offences in Saskatchewan during December

“This is not an evidentiary device – so what that means is that this instrument is not the evidence that will convict someone or acquit them,” SPS Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar said.

“It’s only to let officers know whether they need to go further with their investigation.”

In late August, the Dräger DrugTest 5000 was the first device approved in the country by the federal government to screen for drug-impaired drivers.

It will detect if someone has cannabis in their system as well as cocaine.

Here’s how it works: a saliva swab is collected from the person then popped into the machine. From there, it takes the instrument four minutes to analyze before the results blink on the screen and a paper record is printed off for documentation.

While it’s still unclear how much of a problem drug-impaired driving is on Saskatchewan roadways, Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) spokesperson Tyler McMurchy said it’s reassuring to know there’s another mechanism to catch motorists that don’t plan for a safe ride home.

“It’s never been a worse time to be an impaired driver and it’s never been harder to get away with it.”


READ MORE:
Wrong way driver on Highway 16 charged with impaired driving

Given the amount of time it takes to conduct a test and the limitation of the devices, Barbar said it’s likely they will only be used in the event where a field sobriety test isn’t an option, i.e. the motorist is in a cast, a lack of mobility or the individual has been hospitalized after a crash.

“Our goal is not to test as many drivers as possible on this instrument,” Barbar said.

“We plan to rely heavily still on the standardized field sobriety tests. The main reason for that is this detects two drugs, our standardized field sobriety detects a whole gamut of drugs.”

The Dräger DrugTest 5000.

File / Global News

In Norway, the number of drug-impaired drivers detected by police doubled with the device, but 10 per cent of the results were false positives. The instrument is sensitive when used in cold weather, it can’t be tilted and its reliability has been questioned.

SPS admitted it has never left the station, and the 10 people it was used on during its trial were completely sober.

“It’s the only approved instrument in Canada for what it does,” Barbar said.

“Everybody anticipates with this as with any new law that it will be challenged – that’s the nature of our court system, it’s adversarial.”


READ MORE:
Sask. families asked to submit names for victims of impaired driving monument

The device cannot be administered at random – an officer will need reasonable grounds to conduct the test which was a concern among medicinal marijuana users.

If people refuse to provide a sample, police said it’s considered an offence that could have criminal consequences.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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A stunning Water Lantern Festival is coming to Montreal

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What might just be the most magical night ever is coming up for Montreal this year.

The Water Lantern Festival has announced that it will be gracing Mississauga with thousands of floating lanterns later this year, as part of a celebration that spans the entire world.

According to the festival’s official website, the event is a celebration of life with proceeds going towards charities and non-profit organizations within the area.

“Water Lantern Festival brings together individuals from all ages, backgrounds, and walks of life to join in one emotional and memorable night. At the Water Lantern Festival, we cherish these moments and will do our best to help you have a memorable experience that you’ll never forget as you witness the beauty of thousands of lanterns reflecting upon the water,” the website states.

The festival takes place throughout multiple cities around the world, with the Canadian cities of Quebec, Regina, Vancouver, Hamilton, Calgary, Ottawa, Mississauga, and, of course, Montreal taking part.

For the Calgary event, a date has been confirmed and tickets are already rolling out. Montreal shan’t be far behind, and you can click the Notify Me tab on the event’s site to be kept in the loop.

Expect an evening filled with food trucks, music, lantern designing and finally, a magical launch of the lanterns into the water as the sun goes down.

For our pals over in Calgary, their event includes a floating lantern, a commemorative drawstring bag, a marker, and a wristband. Expect something similar, if not the same, when more details float through about Montreal’s event.

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Euthanasia order on hold for Montreal dog that attacked children

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A pit bull dog that attacked four children and two adults in August 2018 in Montreal North will not be euthanized in the immediate future.

The euthanasia order has been temporarily suspended pending the appeal of a Quebec Superior Court decision.

On Tuesday, Judge Lukasz Granosik rejected a request to halt the euthanasia order issued by the Montreal North borough, which declared the animal a “dangerous dog.”

The City of Montreal has not changed its mind. This is only a delay before it proceeds with euthanizing the dog, a source told the Canadian Press.

Shotta, the one-year-old dog, was in the care of its owner’s acquaintance in August 2018. The dog attacked four children and two adults, causing serious injuries in separate incidents on the same day.

After the attacks, the dog was taken from the home and entrusted to the SPCA.

WATCH: Dog found dead in Angrignon Park

The Road to Home Rescue Support, an American shelter, asked the court if it could take in the dog. Christa Frineau, the dog’s owner, had also asked that Shotta not be euthanized.

Granosik refused to grant the request.

—With files from Global’s Kalina Laframboise

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Anglais

9 Things To Do In Montreal This Friday, Saturday & Sunday

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Today’s sunny skies have me itching to make weekend plans. I absolutely cannot wait to make the most of this warmer weather. This might be the time to inflate my bike tires and dust off my running shoes…

Whether you want to brush up on your cooking skills, let loose, or fill your stomach with amazing food, there’s an event out there for you. Read on for 9 fun things you can do with friends or a fling this weekend.

TL;DR Read on for 9 fun things you can do in Montreal this weekend.

Let Yourself Go At Dress Up

Where: 185 Avenue Van Horne, Montréal.

When: Friday, March 29, 9:00 p.m.

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