Michigan State Police to begin roadside drug testing program that includes mouth swabs for oral screenings

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click to enlarge Michigan State Police to begin roadside drug testing program that includes mouth swabs for oral screenings
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The second phase of Michigan State Police’s roadside drug testing begins on Tuesday, Oct. 1.

The Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot Program calls for drivers that police suspect might be impaired by controlled substances to provide a mouth swab so their saliva can be tested. The test can detect cannabis (delta 9 THC), opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and benzodiazepines.

This rollout follows a year-long pilot program that was instilled after instances of crashes with fatal outcomes consistently increased over the last few years: There were 236 traffic deaths that involved drugs in 2016, and 247 in 2018.

"The Michigan State Police 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,” state police said in a statement. “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.”

The pilot program during that year indicated that most motorists suspected of being impaired tested positive for marijuana — though this included five false-positives after a blood test was administered to confirm.

If a driver suspected of being impaired is stopped, a drug recognition expert (DRE) might administer a 12-step evaluation currently already in practice. The DRE might also require the driver to submit a mouth swab for testing — and refusal to provide one after a legal demand to do so is considered a civil infraction.

Participating police departments 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

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