Every day, on average, 4 Canadians are killed, and 175 are injured in impair related crashes (MADD 2020).
21% of high school students reported driving at least once within an hour of using drugs. (CAMH, 2017)
Cannabis or other drug use led to 20-30% increased risk of a motor vehicle accident. (CDPC, 2017)
Impaired without knowing it!
Mental faculties such as judgement and attention can diminish quickly following the consumption of alcohol. Add the use of medications such as a pain reliever for back pain or cannabis to sleep better, and you may have become a risk to public safety.
Research has shown that alcohol and drugs combined amplify cognition loss.
A risk to public safety can lead to injury and…. unfortunately, fatality
“Alcohol related deaths among fatally injured road users is 273 million people every year.” (International Transport Forum 2010)
“Alcohol-impaired drivers got behind the wheel of a car about 147 million times last year.” (US Centers for Disease Control)
A DRUID (Driving Under the Influence of Drugs, Alcohol and Medicines) study of 50,000 drivers from 13 different countries reported on active use of cannabis by drivers. On weekends, 10-12% of drivers screened in traffic were cannabis users. 26-27% of subjects involved in a car crash had consumed cannabis. (Reference: Cannabis Use and Car Crashes: A Review, Frontiers in Psychiatry (2021, 12, www.frontiersinorg/articles/10.3389/fpsyt.2021.643315/full)
Detecting risk to public safety is paramount and keeping impaired drivers off roads and highways
Blood and breathalyzer tests poorly correlate to impairment levels
With cannabis legalized in many parts of the world, various police forces are finding themselves faced with the same challenge—the tests currently on the market simply aren’t fit for purpose. While you can find tests that measure the presence and level of THC, it is currently impossible to assess its impact on cognitive and psychomotor abilities like balance, executive function, motor impulsivity and impulse control and perception.
The same can be said for alcohol. Measuring how much someone has had to drink is relatively easy. But trying to determine how they may be affected by alcohol, or a combination of stimulants, alcohol and fatigue is also something else entirely.
Deterring impaired behaviour and reducing risk to public safety is largely conducted through law enforcement using their primary tool: random road-side sobriety testing. Police officers are asked to assess the probability of a safety risk of drivers randomly chosen and whether they have consumed alcohol, drug and/or medications that may impact their judgement and pose a risk to public safety.
But deducing the cause for impairment with the multitude of agents involved is complex.
Current practices using roadside sobriety tests fall short of an objective measure of impairment.
Police officers do not currently have the technology that objectively measures whether a person is “fit” to drive.
If a law enforcement officer suspects an individual following an initial screening, they refer that person to a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE), a limited and very costly resource in every country.
Substance detection (alcohol, drugs, or fatigue) cannot quantify reduced cognitive performance. There are metabolic and physiological factors to consider including the relationship between the level of toxins and its impact on cognition. In other words, there is no device that measures the interaction between drugs and alcohol and how it alters a person’s performance and attention to drive.
DetectVue,TM our non-contact, mobile device will analyze a person’s ocular responses to stimuli and screen for signs of impairment within minutes. These series of specialized algorithms assess autonomous functions of the brain that cannot be manipulated or defeated by training. This tool gives officials objective and quantitative data to be able to make informed decisions on the next steps.