Wednesday, April 22, 2015

California Bill Proposes New On-the-spot Drug Test for Drivers

(Adan Salazar)  A bill moving through the California legislature would equip police with devices enabling them to conduct instant drug tests on motorists to determine whether they’re driving under the influence of marijuana.
Assembly Bill 1356 would allow local law enforcement to take oral swabs, in addition to or in place of blood or breath tests, if a person is arrested for driving under the influence of drugs.
The bill’s sponsor, Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R – Palmdale), showed off the Alere DDS®2 at a press conference yesterday, a portable device he hopes to soon have in the hands of officers across the state.
The device, hailed as “the wave of the future,” would enable police to test saliva for the presence of marijuana, cocaine, benzodiazepine (Xanax) and methamphetamine, while providing almost instantaneous results.
“[O]fficers can ask a driver to consent to a voluntary portable oral fluids test of their gum line and cheeks,” described “The tip of the tool is then put into a portable machine for immediate testing rather than requiring a blood test. Such blood tests have previously been necessary to verify an arrest made on the suspicion of drugged driving.”