A second phase of roadside drug testing is underway in Michigan, and it will include drug recognition experts from every county in the state.
According to police, Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs in recent years.
The first phase of testing took place from November 2017 to November 2018 and included Berrien County.
Officers across the state conducted 92 oral tests, and 74 of those tests came back positive for marijuana.
However, five of the positive tests came back as false after a blood test.
The oral fluid test instrument tests for the presence of amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis (delta 9 THC), cocaine, methamphetamines and opiates.
From Michigan State Police:
The expanded Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot Program begins today, Tuesday, Oct. 1, and includes participation from drug recognition experts (DREs) in every Michigan county.
Pursuant to Public Act 242 and 243 of 2016, the Michigan State Police (MSP) conducted a one-year Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot program, which concluded in November 2018, in five counties - Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw. The initial pilot provided valuable data on the performance of the oral fluid test instrument when coupled with law enforcement observed driver behavior and standardized field sobriety tests, but the overall sample size was too small to draw any definitive conclusions on the tool’s usefulness for law enforcement.
In their February 2019 report, the Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot Program Committee recommended expansion of the pilot for an additional year to include all DREs in the state to allow a greater number of police departments to participate and to increase the sample size.
“This additional, statewide data will help to determine the usefulness of this tool for law enforcement, as we work to get drug-impaired drivers off Michigan’s roads,” said Lt. Col. Richard Arnold, commander of MSP’s Field Operations Bureau. “Roadside oral fluid testing continues to show promise and by expanding this pilot, we’ll have a larger body of results by which to determine the tool’s effectiveness.”
Under the pilot program, a DRE may require a person to submit to a preliminary oral fluid 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 oral fluid, obtained by mouth swab, and will be administered along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used by DREs.
The oral fluid test instrument tests for the presence of the following drugs: amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis (delta 9 THC), cocaine, methamphetamines and opiates.
Refusal to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis upon lawful demand of a police officer is a civil infraction.
DREs are police officers who have received highly specified training that allows them to identify drivers impaired by drugs. Although the pilot program is being organized and managed by the MSP, DREs employed by county, township and municipal police agencies are also involved.
Over the last several years, Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs. In 2018, there were 247 drug-involved traffic fatalities.
Participating law enforcement agencies include:
Adrian Township Police Department
Allegan County Sheriff’s Department
Alma Department of Public Safety
Alpena Police Department
Ann Arbor Police Department
Auburn Hills Police Department
Battle Creek Police Department
Bay City Police Department
Bay County Sheriff’s Office
Berrien County Sheriff’s Office
Bloomfield Township Police Department
Cadillac Police Department
Canton Township Police Department
Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office
Chikaming Township Police Department
Clawson Police Department
Dearborn Police Department
Escanaba Department of Public Safety
Gogebic County Sheriff’s Office
Grand Blanc Township Police Department
Grand Haven Department of Public Safety
Grand Rapids Police Department
Grand Valley State University Police Department
Greenville Department of Public Safety
Hamburg Township Police Department
Imlay City Police Department
Ingham County Sheriff’s Office
Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department
Kent County Sheriff’s Office
Lake County Sheriff’s Office
Lapeer Police Department
Lincoln Township Police Department
Livonia Police Department
Macomb County Sheriff’s Department
Marquette County Sheriff’s Office
Menominee Police Department
Michigan State Police
Midland Police Department
Monroe Department of Public Safety
Mt. Pleasant Police Department
Muskegon Police Department
Novi Police Department
Oscoda Township Police Department
Petoskey Department of Public Safety
Pokagon Tribal Police
Port Huron Police Department
Roscommon County Sheriff’s Department
Southfield Police Department
St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office
Troy Police Department
University of Michigan Police Department
Washtenaw Co Sheriff’s Office
Wayland Police Department
Western Michigan University Department of Public Service
Ypsilanti Police Department