Cannabis Driving Arrests Up Slightly in Edmonton, Alberta

Police in Edmonton, Alberta have reported a slight uptick in cannabis-impaired driving arrests over the last year.

Full story after the jump.

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada law enforcement report a slight uptick in post-legalization cannabis-impaired driving arrests, from 33 in the first 10 months of  2018 to 39 over the same period in 2019, the CBC reports. Overall, the Edmonton Police Service said they arrested 134 drug-impaired drivers last year, up from 115 the year prior – a 17 percent increase.

Over the past two years, cannabis impairment has comprised about 29 percent of drug-impaired driving arrests in Edmonton, according to police.

The agency said the drug-impaired driving process takes six times longer and costs six times more than the process for alcohol; $537 on average. The department also conducted around 30 roadside checkpoints last year, the report says. The Edmonton City Council approved $1.4 million to police following legalization but denied a subsequent $3 million request to hire 24 more officers, instead asking police for quarterly updates on the financial and social costs of legalization.

At least 759 Edmonton Police officers were also trained on the new cannabis laws last year and, since 2015, there has been a 10-fold increase in the number of its officers who can administer the roadside sobriety tests.

In December, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan police indicated they “experienced fewer issues than were expected” after legalization. In their report, the agency said that from October 17, 2018, to October 17, 2019, only eight of the city’s 292 driving-while-impaired violations were directly related to cannabis intoxication.

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