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Second Phase of Roadside Drug Testing Pilot Begins Today

October 1, 2019

The expanded Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot Program begins today, Tuesday, Oct. 1, and includes participation from drug recognition experts (DREs) in every Michigan county.

Pursuant to Public Act 242 and 243 of 2016, the Michigan State Police (MSP) conducted a one-year Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot program, which concluded in November 2018, in five counties - Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw. The initial pilot provided valuable data on the performance of the oral fluid test instrument when coupled with law enforcement observed driver behavior and standardized field sobriety tests, but the overall sample size was too small to draw any definitive conclusions on the tool’s usefulness for law enforcement.

In their February 2019 report, the Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot Program Committee recommended expansion of the pilot for an additional year to include all DREs in the state to allow a greater number of police departments to participate and to increase the sample size.

“This additional, statewide data will help to determine the usefulness of this tool for law enforcement, as we work to get drug-impaired drivers off Michigan’s roads,” said Lt. Col. Richard Arnold, commander of MSP’s Field Operations Bureau. “Roadside oral fluid testing continues to show promise and by expanding this pilot, we’ll have a larger body of results by which to determine the tool’s effectiveness.”

Under the pilot program, a DRE may require a person to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis to detect the presence of a controlled substance in the person’s body if they suspect the driver is impaired by drugs. The preliminary oral fluid analysis will be conducted by a DRE on the person’s oral fluid, obtained by mouth swab, and will be administered along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used by DREs.

The oral fluid test instrument tests for the presence of the following drugs: amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis (delta 9 THC), cocaine, methamphetamines and opiates.

Refusal to submit to a preliminary oral fluid analysis upon lawful demand of a police officer is a civil infraction.

DREs are police officers who have received highly specified training that allows them to identify drivers impaired by drugs. Although the pilot program is being organized and managed by the MSP, DREs employed by county, township and municipal police agencies are also involved.

Over the last several years, Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs. In 2018, there were 247 drug-involved traffic fatalities.

Participating law enforcement agencies include:

Adrian Township Police Department

Allegan County Sheriff’s Department

Alma Department of Public Safety

Alpena Police Department

Ann Arbor Police Department

Auburn Hills Police Department

Battle Creek Police Department

Bay City Police Department

Bay County Sheriff’s Office

Berrien County Sheriff’s Office

Bloomfield Township Police Department

Cadillac Police Department

Canton Township Police Department  

Charlevoix County Sheriff’s Office

Chikaming Township Police Department     

Clawson Police Department

Dearborn Police Department

Escanaba Department of Public Safety

Gogebic County Sheriff’s Office

Grand Blanc Township Police Department

Grand Haven Department of Public Safety

Grand Rapids Police Department

Grand Valley State University Police Department

Greenville Department of Public Safety

Hamburg Township Police Department

Imlay City Police Department

Ingham County Sheriff’s Office

Kalkaska County Sheriff’s Department

Kent County Sheriff’s Office

Lake County Sheriff’s Office

Lapeer Police Department

Lincoln Township Police Department

Livonia Police Department                                   

Macomb County Sheriff’s Department

Marquette County Sheriff’s Office

Menominee Police Department

Michigan State Police

Midland Police Department

Monroe Department of Public Safety

Mt. Pleasant Police Department

Muskegon Police Department

Novi Police Department

Oscoda Township Police Department

Petoskey Department of Public Safety

Pokagon Tribal Police

Port Huron Police Department

Roscommon County Sheriff’s Department

Southfield Police Department

St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office

Troy Police Department

University of Michigan Police Department

Washtenaw Co Sheriff’s Office

Wayland Police Department

Western Michigan University Department of Public Service

Ypsilanti Police Department