Saskatoon police roll out new tool to detect high and drunk drivers
Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar pictured with the Mobile Alcohol and Drug Testing Unit on Sept. 10, 2020. (Janella Hamilton/CTV Saskatoon)
SASKATOON -- After a year of planning, Saskatoon Police Service has unveiled its new Mobile Alcohol and Drug Testing Unit.
The van will allow officers to conduct on the spot testing for drivers impaired by drugs or alcohol.
The mobile unit is equipped with both a drug screening device that can detect THC and cocaine in a driver's saliva sample, as well as a breathalyzer to be used at check stops.
Staff Sgt. Patrick Barbar was a driving force behind bringing this idea to life.
"Before this vehicle the only place that we could do a test with this particular instrument was at the police station. So, having this vehicle allows us to not have to transport people," he says.
In addition to making the process more simple and more efficient for police and the public, the mobile unit will travel to community events and be used and as an educational tool.
The unit costs $100,000 to operate. Much of the cost for the mobile unit has come from the provincial government's Criminal Property Forfeiture fund.