WILL POLICE BE USING PORTABLE DRUG TESTING SYSTEMS FOR DUID?
ARE PORTABLE DRUG TESTING SYSTEMS NEW?
California law enforcement officials have begun using a preliminary drug screening device (mouth swab) to aid in determining the presence of an intoxicating drug, including, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine, methadone and benzodiazepines. The San Diego Police Foundation recently donated two $5,000 Dräger Drug Test 5000 mobile drug screening systems to the San Diego Police Department for use at DUI Checkpoints and in DUI drug or DUID enforcement throughout San Diego. These preliminary presumptive drug tests have been widely used throughout Europe and recently in more than a dozen states, including California.
ARE THEY MANTADORY?
Naturally, the question arises as to whether a driver is required to take one of these tests upon request of a law enforcement officer. The short answer is no. While implied consent requires that all those arrested for DUI to consent to provide a sample of their breath or blood (see Vehicle Code § 23612), if you have merely been detained by a law enforcement officer you are protected by the California Constitution as well as the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution from unreasonable search and seizure.
WHAT DO THEY MEASURE?
If you chose to voluntarily provide a sample, you must know that any intoxicating substance, whether legally prescribed or illegal in your system, whether active or merely metabolites, may produce a positive result when tested with the Dräger Drug Test 5000. This machine only determines presence, not quantity of active compounds or metabolites.
WHAT’S THE DANGER?
The danger of voluntarily submitting to this type of preliminary screening test is that even trace amounts or metabolites of an illegal or legally prescribed drug may cause a positive result, providing the investigating officer probable cause to arrest a driver for DUI drugs or DUID. Once arrested, a positive result would provide the investigating officer with sufficient probable cause to arrest and demand the driver to submit to a test of their blood. Those who refuse to submit to a chemical test after being arrested, risk a minimum one-year suspension of their driving privileges.