The more states that come online with legalized cannabis laws, the more there is discussion around the topic of how to detect a DUI for cannabis while drivers are on the road. There are several different methods. kits. and other roadside tests that have been piloted or used by law enforcement to measure if a person is high while driving, and a new one just hit San Diego last week- enter the Drager 5000 mouth swab drug test.
Police officers debuted two “Drager 5000” devices during an annual St. Patrick’s Day checkpoint in the city of San Diego on Friday. The sobriety-testing machines screen saliva samples for 6 substances aside from marijuana, including amphetamines, cocaine, and prescription drugs.
According to the CBS affiliate in San Diego, the Drager 5000 will be put into regular rotation at screening operations like checkpoints and roving DUI saturation patrols.
As reported by The Huffington Post,
Mouth Swab portable testing kits are also being used in New York, Arizona and Nevada, among several other states, as well as in Germany and Belgium, and Australia, notes the Tribune. Other strategies, including breathalyzers that test for drugs and apps to help police measure impairment are also on the market.
San Diego police will first observe a driver to make an initial determination about possible impairment. The motorist may then be asked to run a mouth swab inside his or her mouth for as long as four minutes, then the mouth swab is tested in the portable machine and results are available in up to eight minutes. For pot, the machine only tests for the active THC compound that causes a high, which usually stays in the body for a few hours. A driver can refuse the test, but then an officer can order a blood test.
The next problem states face is determining the level at which drugs in a person’s system could result in dangerous driving. Once defined, levels can only be determined with a blood test.