Michigan drivers could become the first in the nation subject to roadside drug testing, says the Detroit Free Press. Proposed state legislation would authorize police to administer a roadside saliva test for illegal drug use, just as they do breath tests for alcohol, when they stop a driver suspected of being intoxicated. State Rep. Rick Jones, a former Eaton County sheriff and sponsor of one of the bills in the package, said the tests are easy to administer, reliable, and cost effective. The tests could largely replace costly and time-consuming procedures, often requiring search warrants and hospital-administered blood tests, he said.
The test kit under consideration for Michigan can detect drug use in six categories, including marijuana, cocaine, and methamphetamine. “I know this has been a problem for law enforcement for years,” Jones said. “What do you do when you’ve got a guy you know is on drugs but you can’t test him?” The state Department of Corrections uses portable drug kits to test parolees, Jones said, but Michigan could become the first state to authorize their use by traffic cops. Roadside drug testing has been used in Australia and Europe.