With all of this talk about states allowing recreational marijuana, medical marijuana dispensaries located throughout Southern California, and most importantly LAPD using instant swab tests, I would be remiss not to mention tips for dealing with roadside weed tests.
In my previous post, I mentioned that the Los Angeles Police Department began using a roadside swab to test New Year’s partiers who took to the road after taking one of seven drugs, including marijuana. It seems that the test will begin being used regularly at DUI checkpoints.
So what should you do if stopped by police and asked to take a swab?
Similar rules apply for the swab as they do for a breathalyzer. Drivers have rights and one of those rights is the right to refuse the swab. Unless you’re arrested, law enforcement must have a warrant to take blood to determine if there are drugs in your system. Without a probable cause and a warrant, you cannot be forced to give a blood.
If, however, you are arrested for driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you must submit to a chemical test which includes either a breath test or a blood test. That chemical test does not include the drug swab, for now. So, even if you refuse a swab after a DUI arrest, there are no additional penalties. Don’t be surprised if, sometime in the near future, legislation is introduced to provide additional penalties for a refusal of a drug swab following a DUI of drugs.
Until then, protect your rights and refuse the drug swab because the less information that law enforcement has, the better case you have.