LANSING (WWJ) – A one-year pilot program set up in five counties will allow Michigan State Police to conduct roadside drug tests.

First Lt. Michael Shaw says if a driver is pulled over for a traffic offense and shows signs of being under the influence of drugs –specially trained “drug recognition experts” will conduct traditional field sobriety tests.

Next, the officers will use a saliva-based testing to check drivers to see if they’ve smoked marijuana or used heroin or cocaine.

“Were seeing throughout the state of Michigan there’s an increase in both drugged driving and drugged driving fatalities,” Shaw told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Zahra Huber.

The program was approved in legislation passed in Lansing as statistics show the total number of traffic crashes involving drugs has reached a decade-high in Michigan.

Police statistics show the total number of traffic crashes involving drugs has reached a decade-high in Michigan.

“So what this bill does is allows us to have another step in field sobriety process, or the probable cause process, to arrest some of these drugged drivers.”

Shaw said troopers will not be pulling people over indiscriminately.

“Some of the concerns were we were going to just start randomly testing people, and that’s not the case,” he said. “There’s still going to be probable cause for a traffic stop — just like it was….This is just an added component to the probable cause portion of it.”

The program is expected to begin later this year.

Shaw said police have not yet decided on the five participating counties.

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