1 positive test for cannabis in 1st week of police holiday checkstop program

Winnipeg police found one driver who tested positive for cannabis during the first week of its holiday checkstop program.

Officers stopped 1,602 vehicles from Dec. 1 to Dec. 7, resulting in 5 impaired driving-related charges

Winnipeg police stopped 1,602 drivers, administered 88 roadside breath tests and laid five impaired driving related charges in the first week of the annual holiday checkstop program, from Dec. 1 to Dec. 7. (CBC)

Winnipeg police found one driver who tested positive for cannabis during the first week of its holiday checkstop program.

The annual roadside checkstop program resulted in five impaired driving related charges, including one for drug impairment, in the first seven days of December, according to a police release Wednesday.

The program, which launched Dec. 1, also marked the police roll-out of seven $5,000 mobile drug-screening devices purchased by the service ahead of cannabis legalization.

The Drager DrugTest 5000 uses oral fluid to test for seven types of the most commonly abused drugs, but police said in November officers will use it specifically for cannabis and cocaine.

From Dec. 1 to Dec. 7, police in the checkstop program stopped 1,602 vehicles and found one positive result for cannabis using the device, the police release says.

Officers also administered 88 roadside breath tests, the release says. The tests resulted in six warnings and one failure.

The Dräger DrugTest 5000 uses oral fluid to test for seven types of the most commonly-abused drugs with immediate results, according to the company's website. (Winnipeg Police Service)

"Impaired driving continues to be the No. 1 criminal cause of death in Canada, yet is 100 per cent preventable," police wrote in the release Wednesday.

"Our message is simple — if you're under the influence of alcohol or drugs, don't drive."

In their first week, the checkstops also resulted in two non-driving criminal arrests and 89 tickets under the Provincial Offences Act.

The program runs daily until the end of December, including New Year's Eve.