LANSING (WWJ/AP) – New laws signed by Governor Snyder seek to get drugged drivers off Michigan roads.

They allow police to conduct a preliminary roadside analysis for controlled and other intoxicating substances.

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Phil Pavlov is a Republican State Senator from St. Clair County who backed the legislation.

“That’s designed to try to help law enforcement better understand — when people are operating motor vehicles under the use of, whether it be, prescription drugs or illegal drugs,” said Pavlov.

Pavlov recalled an accident last year, in which two young men were killed in St. Clair County in a head-on collision caused by a repeat drugged driver.

Lisa Bergman, who was convicted of second-degree murder after crossing the center line and striking their vehicle while under the influence of drugs, had been pulled over six times in five years for drugged driving. Officers didn’t know she had multiple offenses because they were not listed in the Law Enforcement Information Network.

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“Michigan motorists who make the reckless and irresponsible decision to use illicit drugs and get behind the wheel will now face the same consequences as drunken drivers, and be taken off the streets sooner,” bill sponsor Rep. Dan Lauwers, a Republican from St. Clair County’s Brockway Township, said in a statement.

“Nothing we do will bring back these two young men, but these new laws can prevent a similar tragedy for other families,” co-sponsor Pavlov said.

Snyder signed the legislation in a private ceremony attended by the Ward and Raymo families.

Lawmakers earlier this year removed a provision from the legislation proposing a roadside saliva test for controlled substances after concerns were raised about accuracy. Critics said it could have led to arrests of medical marijuana patients with traces in their bodies but who were not feeling the drug’s effect at the time of a traffic stop.

Also Tuesday, Snyder signed a law requiring that all new drivers be instructed on how to share the roads with motorcyclists and bicyclists. It is named for Nathan Bower, a motorcyclist who died in a 2009 crash in Sanilac County after being struck by the driver of another vehicle.

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The bill was sponsored by Democratic Rep. Terry Brown of Pigeon.
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