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An Overview of Roadside Oral Fluid Testing Part 1

Roadside oral fluid testing can help law enforcement officers (LEOs) detect drugs in a driver’s system. Driving under the influence of drugs increases the likelihood of an accident occurring. In many cases, these incidents result in the death of the inebriated driver, another driver, or a pedestrian. Roadside oral fluid testing is currently being tested in states like California, Vermont, Arizona, Tennessee, Michigan, and others, but one policy director from the ACLU believes that roadside oral fluid testing is unconstitutional.

While the federal legality of roadside oral fluid testing is still in question for the United States, 14 states have permitted the use of oral fluid testing as an alternative to blood testing. Internationally, successful applications in countries like Germany and Belgium could be an early indicator that these tests are on the road to acceptance in the United States.

DUIs cost Americans billions annually, and embracing new testing methodologies that can test for other substances will only increase this figure. In this three-part series, a DUI defense attorney in Tampa will provide important details regarding roadside oral fluid testing. To learn more about how you can minimize the flak from a DUI charge, consult a DUI defense attorney in Tampa.

5 to 10 Minute Screening

Roadside oral fluid testing requires a saliva screening that lasts around five minutes on average. If the LEO obtains a positive result, they will take a blood sample or an additional oral fluid sample from the driver. The secondary test also takes around five minutes. This sample can then be sent to a lab for a more comprehensive breakdown of the substances present in the driver. If the driver does not have the ability to provide a saliva sample as a result of a medical or physical condition, they can opt to use a blood or urine sample instead. However, only qualified and approved professionals are permitted to draw blood from a driver.

Tests and Detection

There are a variety of oral fluid testing devices available. Depending on the device being used, the types of drugs that can be tested for will vary.

Alere: The DDS2 6-Panel can detect cannabis, amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, benzodiazepine, and opiates.

Draeger Device: The DDS500 7-Panel can detect cannabis, amphetamines, methamphetamine, cocaine, benzodiazepine, opiates, and methadone.

SecureTech: The DrugWipe 5 Panel can detect cannabis, opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, and ecstasy. Their other model, the DrugWipe 6 Panel, can detect cannabis, opiates, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, ecstasy, and benzodiazepines.

These devices don’t currently detect drugs like synthetic marijuana or LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), but they do help LEOs test for the five classes of drugs that account for more than 90 percent of drivers who are tested after being arrested. This includes cannabis, cocaine, pain medications, sedatives, and amphetamines.

To learn more about roadside oral fluid testing, read parts two and three.

For a free consultation with an experienced DUI defense lawyer in Tampa, please contact The Rickman Law Firm today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.