Coming Your Way: Roadside Saliva Tests

Posted by Lawrence Taylor on July 27th, 2016

I’ve posted in the past about the difficulties of testing for marijuana in drunk driving investigations.  See Does Presence of Marijuana in Blood Constitute Drunk Driving?, Identifying and Proving DUI Marijuana ("Stoned Driving") and Driving + Traces of Marijuana = DUI.   But John Ibanez and I have also posted about the increasing likelihood of roadside marijuana tests in the future. See Roadside Oral Swab Tests Coming? and California Proposes New Law to Allows Roadside Marijuana Testing.

The future is now….


Not Just Your Breath — Police Now Conducting Saliva Swabs to Check Drivers for Cannabis

Michigan, July 23 – Michigan State Police plan to implement one of the most invasive methods of drug testing in the country in a pilot program: saliva tests….Five counties will force their residents into becoming guinea pigs for what must be the worst thwarting of constitutional and privacy rights in recent years. Saliva-based tests will check drivers for cannabis, heroin, cocaine, and more…

However, (the saliva test) is highly problematic — impairment caused by THC can’t precisely be tested by blood, several studies have found. In fact, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled in November last year the presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — in the blood does not necessarily indicate impairment.

Granted, state laws about the presence of certain drugs and in what quantities vary widely, but using what amounts to unfounded ‘science’ to then create a law with even greater invasiveness marks quite the leap of logic…

Attorney Neil Rockind opposed Michigan’s saliva-based drug testing legislation, warning it would set “a dangerous precedent” in the state.

“The criminal justice system wants to take science and turn it into a fast, easy utility,” Rockind advised. “Science is neither fast nor easy.”…


Of course, scientific truth has never proven a deterrent to ever-more invasive criminal laws — most notably in the so-called "War on Drunk Driving".  See my post How to Overcome Scientific Facts: Pass a Law.


(Thanks to "Joe".)
 

Share