When you’re stopped at a roadside sobriety checkpoint this holiday season, be prepared to answer two questions instead of just one.
Aside from the expected “Have you had anything to drink?” query, for the first time police are also asking motorists about drug consumption — prompted by the legalization in October of recreational marijuana.
“You will see officers more often asking that, for sure,” said Sgt. Sean Harding, a member of the London police traffic management unit. Marijuana is “a product that is now legal to consume, and we want to make sure (people) are using it responsibly.”
Harding said the addition of the question to their impairment checks, commonly known as RIDE check, was not a directive to officers from police brass.
“Our officers know that alcohol and marijuana are legal, and it is incumbent on our officers conducting RIDE programs throughout the festive seasons and beyond that to ask ‘What have you had that is intoxicating?’ ” Harding said. “It’s a natural question to ask.”
He added London police have not laid any impaired-driving charges by cannabis since pot consumption became legal Oct. 17.
Motorists could also expect to be posed the question by members of the provincial police during a stop, said Middlesex County OPP Const. Max Gomez.
“In the same way that we have been enforcing impairment by alcohol by asking the question of ‘Have you consumed any alcohol today?’ . . . we will also be asking ‘When was the last time you enjoyed cannabis?’ ” he said.