A newly passed law will allow Michigan State Police to test out a roadside drug testing program in five selected counties for one year.
The law has been named the “the Barbara J. and Thomas J. Swift law” after a couple who were killed in 2013 by a truck driver who was later found to be under the influence of drugs.
The program will allow Michigan State Police who are trained as “Drug Recognition Experts” to use a cotton swab to administer a saliva test if they suspect a driver is under the influence of drugs during a traffic stop. The saliva test will be used in addition to a 12 step drug evaluation process already in place. These steps include taking blood pressure, measuring respiration rate, and looking at the size of a driver’s pupils.
Michigan troopers say that they won’t be randomly drug testing drivers and that they will still need probable cause before they initiate a traffic stop.
Michigan police say that the program is in response to an increase in drugged driving fatalities in the state.
The counties that will participate in the program have not yet been selected, but roadside drug testing is expected to begin later this year.