Yes, good morning, everyone.
I just want to clarify that for six years of my career I have been teaching future defence counsels and crown attorneys alike at the University of Ottawa in forensic sciences, and one of the most animated lectures is always to do with impaired driving, whether it's by alcohol or drugs. So what I'd like to straighten out over these next few questions, few hours, is a parallel situation that I see very clearly in my mind with respect to paragraph 253(b), which is impairment by alcohol over 80 milligrams percent, 80 milligrams of alcohol per 100 millilitres of blood. For that purpose, a police officer can make the demand, as Corporal Graham said, for an approved screening device at the roadside. That's step one. If that result or any other suspicion without that instrument leads to reasonable grounds that it was impairment by alcohol while driving, then a demand can be made for an approved instrument, most of the time at the police station, although we will have soon some instruments that can be done at the roadside as well.
The parallel to that situation is that there is no magical box to detect drugs at the roadside. There is nothing on the market that will, in the foreseeable five to ten years, give us that magical box. So what we have instead of the approved screening device is the standard field sobriety test. That gives the first set of tests to determine that there was impairment by alcohol and a drug, a combination of both, but the drug by itself then would be able to be detected. As you know, the current legislation does not allow for the detection, or the preliminary detection, of drug-induced impairment.
After the preliminary test is done, we have the standard field sobriety test for paragraph 253(a), impairment by a drug or combination of alcohol and a drug, and that parallels the approved screening device for alcohol for paragraph 253(b). Going down from there, we then have reasonable grounds to think that there was impairment by a drug, with the standard field sobriety test. There is a demand made then for the DRE protocol, a specialized police officer who will administer the 12-step test.
So that part of that law is similar to the approved instrument for alcohol. So far we have a complete parallel.
Where we add another step with the proposed legislation that the society committee is very much supportive of is the confirmation of the DRE call by a forensic laboratory. That's where people like me come in, with my staff of 50-some of the RCMP, and there are other laboratories in the country that can perform the analysis. We would confirm the findings of the DRE. If such confirmation did not take place, there is no support for the accusation of impaired by drugs.
So from there, I'm willing to answer any questions that could help clarify the legislation or what we're supporting.