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Health, Science and Environment

Pilot program in Michigan allows police to test drivers drug use

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The Michigan State Police launched a drug testing pilot program Wednesday which allows troopers to use a saliva swab to test drivers for drugs.

The year-long pilot program is underway in five counties across the state but officials with the Michigan State Police say it will likely expand statewide.

First Lieutenant Jim Flegel is with the Michigan State Police. He said trained officers with probable cause will be able to test impaired drivers with a saliva swab.

“It tests for amphetamines, methamphetamines, cocaine, benzodiazepines, cannabis or THC, and opiates.”

Lieutenant Flegel said the program will work similarly to breathalyzer tests.

“They aren’t going to be random stops, they aren’t going to be checkpoints. The drug recognition experts are going to be doing the same thing they do out there right now. The only difference is if they detect impairment by that person instead of asking them to take a preliminary breath test they will ask them for an oral fluid swab.”

The program will be piloted for one year in Kent, Delta, St. Clair, Berrien, and Washtenaw Counties.