Law enforcement officers all over the country are cracking down on drugged drivers, particularly since many states have changed their marijuana laws. So how do police test for drugged driving, to charge DUI? Are you at risk for a drug DUI in Arizona?
Statistics of Drugged Driving
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), 20.7 million Americans over the age of 16 drove under the influence of alcohol in 2015. You expect this number to be high. But what about drugged driving? Unfortunately, 11.8 million people drove while under the influence of illicit drugs. These illicit drugs include marijuana, opioids, and cocaine.
Among those found to be drugged driving at the time of their accident, 47 percent of drivers used prescription drugs like opioid painkillers, whether prescribed or not. About 37 percent used marijuana before their accident and 10 percent used cocaine.
Also according to the NSDUH study, men more often commit DUI and drugged DUI than women. Higher percentages of people aged 18 to 25 do this than those over age 25.
How do drugged driving tests work?
When police pull you over and suspect drugged driving, they may choose to administer a drugged DUI test. This test involves a small oral test stick. You rub this stick on your tongue, collecting oral fluids. Within five minutes, the test provides drug screening results. If your results show positive for drugs, you must undergo a second sampling of your oral fluids. These samples go to a lab for additional testing.
Another type of drugged driving test involves urine or blood sampling. Police may ask you to submit to one of these tests if they suspect you of abusing illegal or prescription drugs before getting behind the wheel of a car or on your motorcycle.
Which drugs do the saliva tests pick up?
Saliva tests, those involving sampling of oral fluids, test for recent use of cannabis. They also test for methamphetamine and MDMA/ecstasy.
These tests prove very accurate. But they only screen for recently used drugs, those used within the prior 12 hours, at most.
Everyone is different. This means we all metabolize THC in marijuana differently. So there is no known cutoff period for testing negative on these oral tests after using marijuana. So if your friend tests after eight hours and passes the test, it does not mean you will pass it at eight hours, too.
Are people being charged based on these mobile drug tests?
About one in ten tested adults fail their drugged driving tests. This means more people experience a positive drug test than those being tested for drunk driving.
If you find yourself charged with drugged driving, you need an experienced drug DUI lawyer. This lawyer has the experience and knowledge to help you fight your charges. Without this help, you will likely suffer prosecution to the fullest extent of the law. A conviction and sentencing mean major changes to your ability to work, enjoy life, earn money and even live your life freely. DUIs frequently destroy reputations, earning capacity, relationships, finances, and lifestyles.