Michigan Police to Use Controversial Oral Swab for Roadside Cannabis Tests

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State and local police in five Michigan counties are rolling out a controversial oral swab drug testing identification technology this week which officials say can test for six categories of substances during traffic stops in about five minutes, according to a FOX17 report. The Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot Program will be used by police certified as Drug Recognition Experts in Kent, Berrien, Delta, St. Clair, and Washtenaw counties.

According to Michigan State Police Lt. Jim Flegal, the tests can be used to test for amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cocaine, methamphetamine, opiates, and cannabis. The pilot program will see 26 DREs using the technology to check drivers suspected of being under the influence.

“So the ‘DREs’ participating in this program will swab the inside of a person’s mouth, and they will insert that swab into the test instrument, and within five minutes this instrument will give a positive or negative reading,” Flegal said in the report, adding that if drivers refuse to give a sample, which is a civil infraction, police will detain them and request a warrant for a blood sample.

The counties were chosen on the number of DREs in the county, the number of impaired-driving accidents, and the number of impaired drivers arrested in the county.

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