St. Joseph Michigan Criminal Defense Blog

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Roadside Drug Testing Rolling Out in Michigan This Month

roadside drug testing michigan

Driving is a privilege that should be enjoyed while alert and cautious of the safety of one’s self and others on the road. Some drivers, however, consume either alcohol or drugs before getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle which can impair their ability to drive safely. To combat incidents of driving under the influence of drugs, the state of Michigan plans to implement a roadside drug testing pilot program later this year.

In June of 2016, Michigan’s governor signed into law Senate Bill 207 which authorizes the roadside drug testing pilot program which the state plans to implement. Specifically, the bill authorizes police officers who have received training to administer the roadside drug test to drivers who are suspected of operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. This saliva test can be administered without a warrant and a motorist can be arrested and charged based on the results of the test.

The roadside drug testing pilot program law is set to take effect on September 22, 2016. The pilot program is first to be initiated in five counties within the state of Michigan for the period of one year. If the pilot program is successful, the roadside drug testing program may be implemented statewide.

Concerns over the Pilot Program

The main purpose of the roadside drug testing pilot program that is set to begin soon in Michigan is to determine the accuracy and reliability of the saliva test that is going to be used to test for drugs as well as establish policies that are to be used for analysis of the test. This has raised a concern for some defense attorneys who believe that the state has rushed to implement the roadside drug test without verifying its accuracy. Opponents of the implementation of the roadside drug test argue that the test has not been scientifically validated.

When the roadside saliva drug test yields a positive result, the accused may be arrested and ordered to submit to a blood test, a urine test, or both. The results of these later tests can be used for prosecution for operating a motor vehicle under the influence of drugs. It is only in limited circumstances that the roadside saliva test results can be used in court; these test results can only be used when the validity of the person’s arrest is being challenged. In addition, the saliva test results can be admitted in court to rebut claims that the roadside drug test results differ from the results that were obtained through a blood or urine test. Even though the results of the roadside drug test can only be admitted into evidence in limited circumstances, this is still a concern to many defense attorneys who question the test’s reliability.

Contact a Drug Attorney in St. Joseph Today

If you or someone you know is subjected to a roadside drug test, you need an experienced and reputable drug attorney in St. Joseph on your side like Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC. For further information or to schedule an appointment please contact Peter J. Johnson Law Office, PLLC today at 269.982.1100 or visit

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