DETROIT (WWJ) – Roadside drug testing is already underway in Michigan– and now State Police are working to reassure drivers that they won’t be randomly targeting people on the roads.
The one-year test program began in earnest in November in Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties.
Michigan State Police First Lt. Jim Flegel says the pilot program will be implemented based on observing drivers and determining there is cause to investigate possible impairment.
“If they see signs of impairment,” says Flegel. “They will bring them out and they will put them through standardized field sobriety test … if those test positive for impairment and it lends them credibility and probable cause enough to believe they are impaired — then they will ask them to take this test instrument.
The reasoning for the program — Michigan saw a 32 percent rise in impaired driving fatalities from 2015 to 2016.
“They are not going to tell them, ask them, to take this oral fluid test unless they believe there’s probable cause enough that they are impaired – so if you are a medical marijuana patient, card holder, you can legally smoke medicinal marijuana but you still can not drive impaired.”
Drivers refusing to submit to the test will be subject to a civil infraction.
The program — approved in legislation passed in Lansing last year — is being organized and managed by the MSP, DREs employed by county, township and municipal police agencies will also be involved.