Drug-impaired drivers are a major source of fatalities and they are on the rise. To combat and reduce this problem, Michigan State Police will start testing motorists with an oral fluid roadside test beginning Nov. 8. The program will run for one year.
The Preliminary Oral Fluid Analysis pilot program will be launched in St. Clair, Washtenaw, Berrien, Delta and Kent counties.
State police officials say the rising number of impaired drivers, crashes and arrests in those particular counties was the reason why they were chosen to participate.
“Motorists under the influence of drugs pose a risk to themselves and others on the road,” said State Police Director Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue. “With drugged driving on the rise, law enforcement officers need an effective tool to assist in making these determinations during a traffic stop.”
The drug testing will be conducted right on the roadside. Each situation will be overseen by a trained “drug recognition expert” who are police officers that have “received highly specified training that allows them to identify drivers impaired by drugs.”
Refusal to submit to an oral fluid analysis when troopers demand is a civil infraction.