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How can the police tell if you’re driving while drugged?

Posted by Bulldog Law | Aug 29, 2022 | 0 Comments

Drugged driving is an increasingly worrisome trend, and the authorities are constantly looking for ways to spot folks who are driving under the influence of mind-altering substances.

While Breathalyzers have long provided documentable evidence of drunk driving, there hasn't been a similar roadside test that the police could use to detect drugged drivers – until the Dräger DrugTest 5000 came on the scent. If you haven't heard of this device before, here's what you need to know:

The Dräger DrugTest 5000 can detect seven different drugs

This portable device has gradually been implemented in several of the largest jurisdictions in California (as well as other states), and you can expect its use to spread with time.

If an officer has reasonable suspicion – based on their observations and training – that you're driving under the influence of drugs, they can ask you for a simple mouth swab. Once the swab is run through the Dräger DrugTest 5000, the machine will basically print out a sheet that shows whether your saliva is positive or negative for:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Methamphetamines
  • Methadone
  • Benzodiazepines
  • Amphetamines

In theory, this sounds like a good thing because a drugged driver is a dangerous driver. However, a theory isn't the same as practice. Marijuana, for example, can remain in someone's system long after the psychoactive effects of the drug have worn off. Or, for another example, someone with a prescription for benzos for anxiety may be entirely capable of driving with small amounts of the drug in their system.

If you've been arrested after a roadside test showed trace amounts of a drug in your system, don't despair. There are viable defenses available to you. Experienced legal guidance can help you assess your options.

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