LANSING (WWJ) – In an effort to combat drugged driving in the state, Michigan State Police say they will launch a one-year oral fluid roadside drug testing pilot program beginning Wednesday, November 8.

For starters, only the following five Michigan counties will be included: Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw —  chosen based on several criteria, including the number of impaired driving crashes, impaired drivers arrested and trained Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) in the county.

What is the purpose of the program?

Over the last several years Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs, according to police. In 2016, there were 236 drug-involved traffic fatalities, which is an increase of 32 percent from 179 drug-involved traffic fatalities in 2015.

Police say 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.

“Motorists under the influence of drugs pose a risk to themselves and others on the road,” said Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “With drugged driving on the rise, law enforcement officers need an effective tool to assist in making these determinations during a traffic stop.”

How will the testing work?

Under the pilot program, a DRE (a police officer who has received highly specified training that allows him or her to identify drivers impaired by drugs) may require a person to submit to a preliminary saliva analysis to detect the presence of a controlled substance in the person’s body if they suspect the driver is impaired by drugs. The preliminary oral fluid analysis will be conducted by a DRE on the person’s saliva, obtained by mouth swab, and will be administered along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used by DREs.

These tests are typically designed to detect common controlled substances including marijuana, amphetamines, methamphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine and opiates.

Although 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.

Drivers refusing to submit to the test will be subject to a civil infraction.

Comments (9)
  1. Dan Poley says:

    People will pt up with anything the government doles out.

  2. Doc Holiday says:

    As long as they agree on “giving back the swab”…or it is illegal to “Collect ones DNA” with out a Court Order.

  3. Yen Whit says:

    Boy is this some vague “sheet” here. First of all under what conditions am I being stopped? What are the consequences of denying to take any test for drugs? Interesting Washtenaw County is involved. Watch out Detroiters driving back from Chicago, Grand Rapids and points west of the big motor.

  4. Opa Karl says:

    This should be court tested, as it is totally illegal. Our Constitution gives us the right to travel without impediment, and it also gives us the “innocent until proven guilty” rights. This is exactly the opposite. You are presumed guilty, if you do not consent, and given an infraction that is on your record!

  5. David Folk says:

    i dont do drugs but will refuse the test

  6. Michigan can’t fix the water problem but can afford a new program. Oh wait that is because they can’t make money on fixing the water but will
    make big$$$$$ for this program…..

  7. Mike Cutting says:

    Why don’t you address the problem and not the consequences. Keep on raking in those $$$

  8. Clint Howard says:

    if they dont have a warrant its in violation of your 4th amendment right , if they have a warrant you can still say no pursuant to your 5th amendment right , and if they charge you for exorcising a right well then quote shuttleworth vs birmingham and murdock vs pennsylvania to the judge , because they both are about people being punished for exorcising a right and that the citizen may act with impunity against any unconstitutional act law or anything , also see marbury vs madison and the supremecy clause and miranda vs arizona , and if you are exorcising a right and they deprive you of that right well then 18 united states code 242 deprivation of rights under the color of law says thats a felony and you can charge them with a felony for doing so and you can sue their socks off

  9. Jeff Brown says:

    I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve been driving and followed someone who was, literally, reaking of weed so much that I could smell it following them on the freeway and on surface streets. There’s NO F’G WAY you can justify smoking weed while driving….none.

    I don’t think the searches are lawful and I hope someone smashes them in court but I also hope that they make the penalties for being caught driving under the influence WAY more severe than the severe penalties they already have. No one is taking this stuff seriously; they think they can drive high and nothing is gonna happen. I hate those aholes.

    Driving is a privilege, not a right…and your dumb ass does not have the right to endanger everyone else because you’re stupid and drug addled.

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