Minnesota is preparing to launch a trial of a newly designed saliva test for drugs, including cannabis, to be used by police officers during traffic stops.
We’ve written before about the obvious need for a ‘roadside-ready’ test that includes drugs other than alcohol. It’s to help replace those long rides to the hospital to have blood drawn– by which time, of course, anybody’s blood content would have decreased significantly. If it works, it’ll be a big help to law enforcement. If it doesn’t, well, back to the drawing board.
Here’s the story from Minnesota Public Radio:
The Abbott version of the device, first up to be tested, allegedly can detect “six classes of drugs from an oral fluid sample within five minutes.” The test claims to be able to detect THC, cocaine, opioids, benzodiazepines, and two types of amphetamine. Hopefully that includes MDMA (Molly), a favorite among late night clubgoers.
No mention of hallucinogens like LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, etc. Over the years, I’ve met folks who admit driving under the influence of these substances on a regular basis.
An old friend who taught DWI school in California shared with me that he found it frankly terrifying to think about who may be out on the road at the same time he was. “It isn’t just folks making a bad decision,” he insisted. “Some drive under the influence because it’s the only way they can operate a vehicle — otherwise, they’re too sick (from withdrawal) to drive.”
He was probably exaggerating. I hope.
If the current versions of the saliva test hold up in regular use throughout the year-long trial, it’s likely that state government will make their use permanent. Until then, no one who test positive will be arrested as the result. They’ll be considered volunteers for an unscheduled experiment.
Good luck, Minnesota.