With medical marijuana legal in Michigan, there is concern over its use, especially when a person is driving. Plus, since marijuana has been basically decriminalized in many states, people are seeking harder drugs. Drugs and driving don’t mix and have led to numerous accidents—many of them fatal.
Drinking and driving is a serious issue in Michigan, but drugged driving is on the rise as well. That’s why Michigan police are looking to combat drugged driving. A new tool is currently being tested to see if it can help.
In 2016, Michigan saw drug-related driving fatalities increase from 179 to 236. This 32 percent increase led police to test a new tool for one year. A swab test is now being used to identify instances of drugged driving.
The process for checking a person for drugged driving will remain the same. If a person is driving while visibly intoxicated, the officer will pull over the driver. The driver will be asked to perform a field sobriety test. If the police officer suspects drug use, he or she will use the new tool to perform a drug exam.
The portable system, called the Alere DDS2 Mobile Test System, consists of a tool and swabs. Once the driver is swabbed, the results are available in five minutes and can be printed from the roadside. The tool also shows which drugs the driver has used. It tests for six drugs: marijuana, methamphetamines, amphetamine, opiates, cocaine and benzodiazepines.
The test is considered preliminary and cannot be used by itself to convict someone of a DUI charge. While it helps establish probable cause, a blood test is ultimately required for prosecution.
The pilot will continue until November 2018. If it is successful, it will prove helpful for police officers who do not have drug recognition training. Only 130 of the state’s 18,500 officers have this training. After the pilot has been completed, the results will be analyzed to see if the program should be expanded to other states.
Law enforcement officials are not the only ones using this innovative technology. Known for its high performance, the Alere DDS2 Mobile Test System has also been used in drug treatment centers and workplaces. This battery-operated system is reliable and easy to use. The full color screen is easy to read, day or night. Because the person is swabbed, the machine uses oral fluid. Gathering a sample is not as invasive as gathering blood or urine. This means there is less risk of tampering and misinterpreted test results.
Many people drive while intoxicated. While this is not necessarily a good idea, people do make mistakes sometimes.
If you have been arrested for a DUI charge, get legal help right away. Breathalyzers and other tools are not always accurate and evidence obtained from them can be deemed inadmissible in court. The aggressive criminal defense attorneys from Nickola Law can help prove your innocence. For more information, contact Nickola Law at (810) 767-5420 or visit our website to schedule a consultation.
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