Catch us live on BlogTalkRadio every



Tuesday & Thursday at 6pm P.S.T.




Sunday, May 13, 2018

Roadside drug tests to check for marijuana, cocaine, opiates and more

OFF THE WIRE


Police from a dozen agencies will use handheld devices to test drivers' saliva for use of several drugs under a pilot program in five Michigan counties.
The Michigan State Police announced Thursday, Nov. 2, it will carry out a one-year roadside drug testing pilot program in Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties. It will begin Wednesday, Nov. 8.
The Alere DDS2 oral fluid test instrument will be used to measure for the presence of drugs in drivers' saliva, Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said. The device will record results based on threshold limits set by the manufacturer and test for six substances: amphetamine, benzodiazepines, marijuana/cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamine and opiates.
Banner said it should be noted that threshold levels for saliva are different than that of blood.
Drug Recognition Experts (DREs), officers with advanced training in the assessment of alcohol and drug impairment, will carry the devices, MSP said. DREs only will administer an oral fluid test under the pilot program, Banner said.
The drug test will take place roadside, like alcohol preliminary breath test (PBT).

Refusing the oral fluid swab test, a preliminary test, will result in a civil infraction, just like an alcohol PBT, Banner said.
DREs will continue to take blood draws as part of standard procedure in addition to saliva tests, Banner said.
"Drug Recognition Experts will continue to follow the same policies and procedures for investigating a person they believe to be operating a vehicle while impaired on a controlled substance. The only difference in the pilot counties will be if the DRE determines a motorist is impaired on drugs, they will ask the person to submit to an oral fluid test," Banner said.
There are 26 total DREs in the five counties, employed by the following agencies:
Berrien:
* Michigan State Police Niles Post
* Berrien County Sheriff's Department
* Lincoln Township Police Department
Delta:
* Michigan State Police Gladstone Post
* Escanaba Public Safety
Kent:
* Michigan State Police Rockford Post
* Grand Rapids Police Department
* Kent County Sheriff Department
St. Clair:
* St. Clair County Sheriff Department
Washtenaw:
* Ann Arbor Police Department
* University of Michigan Police Department
* Washtenaw County Sheriff Department
* Pittsfield Township Police Department
* Ypsilanti Police Department

Each of the 26 DREs will receive a testing device and only DREs will be authorized to administer the test under the pilot program, Banner said.
The pilot program cost $150,000, covered by a legislative appropriation.
DREs in the pilot program will continue to be paid by the law enforcement agency that employs them and won't receive any additional compensation from the program, Banner said.
In order to receive an oral fluid test, a driver must be suspected of impaired driving, Banner said, and drivers will not be subject to saliva tests at sobriety checkpoints or roadblocks because they are not legal in Michigan.
The one-year pilot program was established by the Michigan Legislature, under Public Acts 242 and 243 of 2016. The pilot program will establish policies for the administration of roadside drug testing to determine whether an individual is operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance in violation of Michigan law, MSP said.

Brian Swift, whose parents were killed in a crash in which another driver had THC in his system, inspiring the legislation, said the pilot program means law enforcement has another tool to take people off the road who cause death and destruction.
"While our parents are gone forever, their memory will save others, just how they would have wanted it," he said.
Attorney Neil Rockind of Rockind Law in Bloomfiled Hills has been a vocal critic of roadside drug testing since the issue was still being debated in the legislature.

"The legal system and law enforcement wants it to be fast and perfect," he said when MSP announced the program was beginning. "Science is not fast. Developing scientific techniques and perfecting those techniques typically takes years and years, and science is never perfect."
Rockind said he was certified in DRE training himself, and believes the process is flawed.
"What works in a lab doesn't work in court," he said.
The results of a preliminary oral fluid analysis are admissible in court in very limited cirtcumstances, similar to a PBT, Banner said.
Arrest policies and procedures for impaired driving will not change due to the pilot program and arrests will not be made solely on the results of an oral fluid test, MSP said.
"The oral fluid test will be used to test for drug impairment in the same way a PBT is used to test for alcohol impairment," she said.

The statute allows that upon conclusion of the one-year pilot program, the MSP may, subject to receiving funding from the legislature, establish additional pilot programs for one year in eligible counties not included among the five counties initially selected, Banner said.
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/roadside_drug_testing_device_
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2016/04/drugged_driving_in_michigan_se.html
p.htmlhttp://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/roadside_drug_testing_device_p.html
http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2017/11/kent_washtenaw_among_5_countie.html