Cops Cite Increased ‘Drugged’ Driving for New Roadside Drug Testing Program

Police officers in Michigan are citing an increased number of “drugged” drivers as the need for their new roadside drug testing program. The state has decided to launch the pilot program in Washtenaw, Berrien, Delta, Kent, and St. Clair counties. All are actively participating in the program and “staties” are now equipped with testing kits to catch the “druggies”.

Deputy Sheriff Brian Webb of the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office said, “This is used for probable cause purposes. Trained drug and recognition experts are the ones that are going to be qualified to use them right now.”

What could go wrong?

According to the stats provided by the state police there were 236 drug involved traffic deaths, a 32% increase from 2015.

“Using drugs is just as bad as drinking and driving,” said Webb.

The $3,000 kit is fairly simple to use and includes individual cheek swabs to test your saliva. The swab is then inserted in a device that reads the chemical compounds found on the swab. After about five minutes, the swab is discarded and the device prints out the findings.

According to Webb, the device is made to search for six different types of drugs: meth-amphetamines, amphetamines, cocaine, marijuana, opiates and benzodiazepines like Xanax and anti-depressants.

The device can only show the presence of these drugs but it can not display the amount of the drug consumed. Webb said if a positive reading shows up on the device than recent consumption is the culprit.

“If it shows up in the saliva, it is showing here,” Webb said. “That is more recent use. And if they used it days ago it shouldn’t show up.”

What could go wrong?

According to Webb police would not be pulling people over randomly.

“We know millions of people are prescribed drugs everyday that function fine and can drive on their own. That is not the concern. It is the small percentage that causes crashes,” he said.

But like any other roadblock or checkpoint, refusal of the test will have the driver ticketed and police could still cart the driver off to jail.

What could go wrong?

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