Will the Drug Breathalyzer Soon Become Commonplace?

4834872285_a73f46ff11Currently, testing for drugs in a driver’s system requires a trip to the police station, fire station, hospital or detox and invasive measures such as drawing blood. However, in recent years, companies have been working to develop products similar to a breathalyzer device that can test for drugs during the traffic stop on the side of the road. Now, some states have proposed laws to allow for widespread use of such devices by law enforcement officers.

The portable device is called the DDS2 Mobile Test System and is manufactured by the company Alere. The device uses a saliva sample to detect whether or not a person has one or more types of drugs in their systems. Specifically, the test can reportedly detect marijuana, opiates, cocaine, methamphetamines, amphetamines, and benzodiazepine. However, the device is problematic as it only detects the presence of drugs and does not test for a driver’s level of impairment. Because drugs can stay in a person’s system for some time, widespread use of the DDS2 can easily lead to numerous arrests of drivers who are sober but had consumed drugs in the recent past.

This can certainly be an issue in states that have legalized marijuana like Colorado. People could lawfully use marijuana and then days later could be arrested on suspicion of drugged driving. This is a serious problem and can lead to a large number of wrongful arrests, charges, and convictions.

Colorado has set a threshold of 5 NG of active THC for the amount of marijuana it takes to be considered under the influence for the purposes of DUI cases. This puts legal marijuana users in a difficult position because, if they agree to the DDS2 test, they could end up arrested if they test is positive. If they refuse the test, they may end up facing administrative penalties under Colorado’s express consent law, as well as, criminal charges. The Colorado courts will likely see an increase in drug-related DUI cases–not because more people are driving while high, but because law enforcement use of the DDS2 will detect past marijuana use in a driver.

If the recent proposed law passes in California, it will likely only be a matter of time before a similar law is passed in Colorado and surrounding states. This could significantly change the way drugged drivers are pursued by law enforcement, arrested, and charged and this could complicate the defense in some cases.

Contact an experienced Denver DUI attorney for a free consultation

With new technology being introduced for use by law enforcement officers, the nature of many DUI drug cases may change significantly. You always want to make sure that your defense attorney is aware of the new developments in DUI cases and how to defend against charges of driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol. DUI defense lawyer Jay Tiftickjian is always at the forefront of DUI news and technology so that he can provide the best DUI defense possible for every single client, regardless of the circumstances of your particular case. Please call the Tiftickjian Law Firm at 303-DUI-5280 if you have been arrested for DUI today.

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