Daniel Hynes

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Swab tests for DUI Drugs

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Could the Future of DWI Testing Lie In Swab Tests?

Law enforcement officials in the state of California are about to begin employing a newer technology in 2014 in an effort to identify, arrest, and prosecute intoxicated motorists. NBC Los Angeles has reported that a government grant within California is enabling law enforcement officials to increase their usage of swab tests at DWI/DUI checkpoints and in jails test suspects for the existence of alcohol and drugs in their bloodstream. Police officers in California have recently observed an increase in the amount of motorists who operate automobiles under the influence of drugs, including marijuana. Just like in the state of New Hampshire, a motorist who drives an automobile while under the influence of prescription, illegal, or over the counter medications can be charged with a DWI within California.

With the number of active motorists impaired by drugs higher than ever, law enforcement officials have deemed a need to be able to prosecute and recognize such motorists. The use of a swab test is quickly being recognized as a simple and fast method for police officers to determine if drugs are present in a person’s system. This test works by having an absorbent cotton swab placed in the suspect’s mouth. A saliva sample is absorbed in the swab, and then it is removed from the mouth. The sample is then conveyed to a laboratory where it is compared with known samples of popular drugs to determine if these substances were in the suspect’s mouth. The notion behind this idea is that an individual who consumes drugs possesses traces of drugs within their body that can be identified through the saliva.

Lawmakers in California are quite concerned about the increasing numbers of impaired motorists who are on their roadways. So far, in Los Angeles County alone, law enforcement officials have announced that nearly 1,500 suspects have been arrested on suspicion of driving while intoxicated, due to either drugs or alcohol. According to a statement from NBC News:

”Officials said drunken driving increases more than 80 percent during the holidays and they hope the new technology will discourage impaired drivers from taking the road.”

Furthermore, Mothers Against Drunk Driving recently announced that the total number of nationwide deaths that resulted from DWIs has risen nearly 5% in the last year. Utilizing swab tests is cheaper and simpler than using hair tests, blood tests, or Breathalyzer tests, but these tests are not quite advanced technologically enough to determine the percentage of alcohol in a suspect’s bloodstream or they type of drugs they might have consumed. If this new initiative is a success, it can easily be expected that other stated will soon follow suit in using swab tests. As of yet, New Hampshire has not chosen to adopt this new method of testing, if California experiences success, then changes could be coming in the near future.

If you have been charged with a DWI in the state of New Hampshire, contact one of our experienced NH DWI lawyers today for a free consultation regarding your case.

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Guest Monday, 27 May 2024