A new year brings in new technology.
Authorities have announced that a state grant has allowed for the roadside testing of more than just alcohol this New Year’s. Some California DUI checkpoints will now include a voluntary oral swab that will test Southern California drivers for marijuana, cocaine and other drugs.
“There’s a growing recognition that driving under the influence of drugs is something we need to be clamping down on more effectively,” said Los Angeles City Attorney Mike Feuer who is pushing to curb intoxicated driving from substances other than alcohol. “Traditionally, our office has focused on drunken driving cases. We’re expanding drug collection and aggressively enforcing all impaired-driving laws.”
The new test screens for: cocaine, benzodiazepine (Xanax), methamphetamine, amphetamines, narcotic analgesics, methadone, and the THC component of marijuana.
Remember, a person need not be drunk to be arrested for a California DUI. All a person needs to be is “under the influence” of a substance while driving.
Whether it’s a breathalyzer or an oral swab that the police are asking you to submit to, it is not mandatory. A chemical test to determine if a driver has alcohol or drugs in their system is only required once the person has been arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence. Before that happens, drivers have the right to refuse the test.
Having said that, avoid a New Year’s DUI, not by refusing a test, but by finding alternative means home, not driving, or not drinking.