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Drugged Driving Crackdown: Michigan Police Officers to Begin Mouth Swabs in 5 Counties

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Michigan is attempting to crackdown on drugged driving—those who drive under the influence of a controlled substance. In 2016, Michigan enacted a 1 year pilot program limited to use in 5 counties throughout the state. The pilot program is scheduled to go into effect on November 8, 2017 in the following counties: Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair, and Washtenaw.

Under the pilot program, law enforcement officers with special training to be certified as a “certified drug recognition expert” or “DRE” who has reasonable cause to believe that a person is driving under the influence of a controlled substance may require a person to submit to a “preliminary oral fluid analysis” (i.e. a mouth swab) to test for the presence of a controlled substance. The pilot program is another tool to combat the opioid epidemic. One consequence of the epidemic is a significant increase in number of opioid-related car crash fatalities.

Refusal of the mouth swab would result in the driver being issued a civil infraction. Critics of the pilot program argue that mouth swabs are unreliable and are not an effective major of impairment. In fact, just this year, the federal National Highway Traffic Safety Administration published a study that concluded that there is no correlation between THC levels (the active psychoactive ingredient in marijuana) and level of impairment. Moreover, according to the NHTSA, detection of THC in the body is not a reliable indicator of impairment. This is due to the fact that the psychoactive effects of marijuana only last for a few hours, but the presence of THC can be detected for up to 30 days. In short, NHTSA concluded that there is no scientifically reliable method for detecting roadside marijuana impairment.

If you have been charged with drugged driving or if you have questions about your rights, contact the experienced criminal defense and medical marijuana law attorneys at Grewal Law PLLC.

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  1. Silly sue says:
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    Big Brother is watching you…. please! This is going to be a big mess…..

  2. Jackie says:
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    I’m Curious, Under the New, Highly Conflicting, and Intrusive Law- How Does One Who’s On a Controlled Substance for Pain Fall into the Category of Being Capable of Working and Driving, Yet Fail to Be Approved for Disability? Or, Does the New Law Come with Mandatory, Automatic Approvals for Those Being Bullied into These Types of No Win Situations? Obviously There Can’t Be These Types of Threats to Our Mobility, Our Ability to Make it to Work, Countless Doctor’s Appointments, or Other Every Day Activities, without Factoring in the Necessary Exceptions to Driving While Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance Like Many of Us Who Depend On Legitimate, Prescribed Medication to Maintain Enough Relief from Pain to Have Any Quality of Life. Is There a Disclaimer Somewhere Stating that Once We’re Prescribed a Narcotic, Such as Norco for instance, that We Are No Longer Allowed to Legally Operate a Vehicle, and if So, Are There a Resources Available to Help Offset the Cost of Living Once We’re No Longer Able to Utilize the Same Driving Privileges that Someone Fortunate Enough to be Free from Pain Has? If These Types of Dilemmas Haven’t Already Been Factored in, Why, and How Do You Suggest We Get Around These Offensively Intrusive Laws, Like Being Subjected to Having a Stranger Insert a Swab, INSIDE of Our Body, Should They “Suspect” We’re Under the Influence of a Controlled Substance? Or Am I just Being Paranoid, and They’re Able to Differentiate between Illicit Drug Use, and Prescription Therapy? That Makes More Sense. I’m Sure That’s the Missing Link. Has to Be. Right?

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