California is one of a small number of states that allows for the use of medical marijuana. This may lead some marijuana users to feel more comfortable driving while under the effects of marijuana. As efforts to further legalize marijuana in California continue, some lawmakers want to use a new method to catch the growing number of drivers under the influence of marijuana.
Senate Bill 1462, authored by Republican Senator Bob Huff, is a proposed law that would introduce a new method for law enforcement to instantly test drivers for marijuana during DUI stops. The bill would allow law enforcement officers to use an oral swab drug screening test on drivers if there is probable cause the driver is impaired and the driver has also failed sobriety tests.
Accuracy of the Swab Test
To test for the presence of marijuana, police would use an oral swab on the driver and a hand-held electronic device that tests oral fluid. The test is also used to detect the presence of cocaine, amphetamines and pain medications, including opiates.
The swab tests are not accurate enough to replace the more complicated blood and urine tests law enforcement currently uses to test for drugs, but they are much more portable and instant. Swab tests wouldn’t be accurate enough to tell the exact concentration of THC or other illegal and legal substances in a person’s body. However, Senator Huff says that the oral swab tests are the quickest way to test for drugs like marijuana at a DUI stop. Continue reading →