Police in 5 counties will be swabbing drivers for drugs

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Starting next week, some police officers in five counties will be asking drivers to allow a swab of their mouth to determine if they've been using drugs.

Michigan State Police say it's part of an effort to cut down on "drugged driving." The one-year program starts Wednesday in Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties.

Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue says drivers "under the influence of drugs pose a risk to themselves and others on the road."

Police officers who are trained as drug recognition experts will collect oral fluid if they suspect a driver is impaired by drugs. A refusal is treated as a civil infraction.

State police say there were 236 drug-related traffic fatalities in 2016, a 32 percent increase.

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7 comments

  • Not racist, not violent, but no longer silent

    Seriously? I’m all for keeping drugged/drunk drivers off the road – it just seems the good intentions are always lost. Just take a drive down any street and see how many people are on their smart phones. Driving has become secondary to most drivers…

  • John

    Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love and abuse of power and privilege.

  • jdegregorio2014

    A very clear violation of the 4th Amendment and whatever politicians pushed that into a law need to be strung up. And whatever cops enforce it violate their Oath and as such are fair game for lawsuits.

  • Robin

    How could they determine when the driver took the drug? U might smoke weed, test + and u smoked it yesterday. This law is not going to work, plus they’ll have everyone’s dna, where will it end. And I’m on prescribed opiates, been taking them for yrs so it doesn’t affect my driving the least bit, they going arrest me for drugged driving. People are more dangerous texting or talking while driving or my personal pet peeve the women that put in makeup driving down the road.