Kitchener-Waterloo

Marijuana smell leads to impaired charge for driver in Guelph

Guelph police have laid impaired driving charges against a 28-year-old man after smelling marijuana during a traffic stop.

Field sobriety officer called to traffic stop due to ‘strong odour of marijuana,’ police say

Guelph police have laid impaired driving charges against a 28-year-old man after smelling marijuana during a traffic stop. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

Guelph police have laid impaired driving charges against a 28-year-old man after smelling marijuana during a traffic stop.

According to police, the officers stopped a vehicle just before midnight on Monday near Gordon Street and Lowes Road.

Police said an officer spoke with the driver and "could detect a strong odour of marijuana."

Const. Josh Fraser said a "standard field sobriety officer" was called to the scene to further investigate, and the driver was ultimately charged with impaired driving and having "marijuana in a vehicle readily accessible."

No test gear yet

"Guelph police don't have what the government has issued in terms of a roadside test, in terms of the instrument. So then, officers have to use their judgment," said Fraser.

"When a standard field sobriety officer attends … some tests are conducted and the result of that its deemed whether he's suitable to drive and leave the scene or whether he's arrested for impaired driving by drug,"

Fraser said even though officers don't have equipment that some other police services are using, Guelph officers are "well-equipped to make this determination if someone is impaired by drug."

"Officers have been doing this long before the marijuana laws came into effect," said Fraser.

Police did not say why the vehicle was pulled over.

Penalties for impaired driving by drug are similar to those with alcohol and include the vehicle being impounded, license suspension and court costs.

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