Michigan to begin roadside drug testing pilot program next week

The Michigan State Police has announced five counties where a roadside drug testing pilot program will begin on Nov. 8.

Counties selected for roadside drug testing through a saliva test are Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw, MSP said in a Nov. 2 statement.

The one-year pilot program was established by the Michigan Legislature, under Public Acts 242 and 243 of 2016.

The pilot program will establish policies for the administration of roadside drug testing to determine whether an individual is operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance in violation of Michigan law.

Over the last several years, Michigan has seen a steady increase in fatal crashes involving drivers impaired by drugs. In 2016, there were 236 drug-involved traffic fatalities, which is an increase of 32 percent from 179 drug-involved traffic fatalities in 2015, according to the MSP.

“Motorists under the influence of drugs pose a risk to themselves and others on the road,” Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP, said. “With drugged driving on the rise, law enforcement officers need an effective tool to assist in making these determinations during a traffic stop.”

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