Not Just Your Breath — Police Now Conducting Saliva Swabs to Check Drivers for Cannabis

saliva-testBy Claire Bernish

Michigan State Police plan to implement one of the most invasive methods of drug testing in the country in a pilot program: saliva tests.

Five counties will force their residents into becoming guinea pigs for what must be the worst thwarting of constitutional and privacy rights in recent years. Saliva-based tests will check drivers for cannabis, heroin, cocaine, and more — thanks to perhaps the most despised governor in the U.S., Rick Snyder.

“The five-county pilot program will be used to help determine accuracy and reliability of the tests,” Snyder explained in June after signing the bill into law, as MLive reported.

In other words, whoever happens to be unfortunate enough to have their saliva tested will literally be a guinea pig of the state — and there doesn’t appear to be any further information concerning recourse for those tested should the tests prove inaccurate.

“We expect the counties to be finalized this summer with a pilot to begin sometime later in the year,” MLive quoted Shanon Banner, spokeswoman for the Michigan State Police.

Ostensibly, Drug Recognition Experts (DRE officers) — of which the state currently has 99 for 37 of its counties — have been given “highly specialized training” to assist them in recognizing drug-impaired drivers.

According to MLive, the “saliva analysis will only be administered by a DRE, [Banner] said, and will be given along with the drug recognition 12-step evaluation currently used. DREs employed by state, county and municipal agencies could also be involved.”

Though reports about this pilot program seem to have been obfuscated by both the 2016 presidential theater and recent violence by and against police, roadside saliva assessments represent a terrifyingly dystopic advancement of the Police State — even though the program was spawned for seemingly noble reasons.

Officially titled the “Barbara J. and Thomas J. Swift Law” to honor a couple killed when their Chevy Malibu was struck by a red light-running semi truck in Escanaba on March 20, 2013, the legislation was inspired by the couple’s son, Brian, who sought a better method for drug-testing impaired drivers.

But the explanation of that crash has similarly alarming connotations. As MLive explained:

Tractor-trailer driver Harley Davidson Durocher was convicted of charges including operating while intoxicated causing death, and sentenced to a minimum of five years and five months in prison for the crash. Durocher’s blood was drawn at a hospital following the crash and showed THC, an ingredient of marijuana, leading to the charges.

However, that in itself is highly problematic — impairment caused by THC can’t precisely be tested by blood, several studies have found. In fact, the Arizona Supreme Court unanimously ruled in November last year the presence of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) — the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis — in the blood does not necessarily indicate impairment.

Granted, state laws about the presence of certain drugs and in what quantities vary widely, but using what amounts to unfounded ‘science’ to then create a law with even greater invasiveness marks quite the leap of logic.

Attorney Neil Rockind opposed Michigan’s saliva-based drug testing legislation, warning it would set “a dangerous precedent” in the state.

“The criminal justice system wants to take science and turn it into a fast, easy utility,” Rockind advised. “Science is neither fast nor easy.”

Michigan’s new law dictates MSP will roll out the pilot in five counties to ‘establish policies in the area of roadside analysis … and to make a determination of the accuracy and reliability of the tests,’ Banner said, as MLive paraphrased.

As the nanny government and Police State encroach ever further on our civil rights and liberties, it would be advisable to keep watch for other states attempting similar saliva-based drug testing — especially given the arbitrary, hastily implemented science upon which such tests are founded.

Claire Bernish writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.


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23 Comments on "Not Just Your Breath — Police Now Conducting Saliva Swabs to Check Drivers for Cannabis"

  1. This is soooo phony!!! The boys in blue concocting another scam on the public for revenue!!

  2. LeslieDonsen | July 23, 2016 at 5:39 pm | Reply

    They won’t get a cheek swab from me. That’s just another way to get a DNA profile they can store. While I have nothing sinister to hide, who knows what will be done in the future.

    • Shovel Ready | July 23, 2016 at 11:39 pm | Reply

      Hate to tell you this, but if you’ve ever applied for a life insurance policy where they took blood, your dna is already in the data base. For that matter, to my knowledge, there is no law to prevent diagnostic labs from sharing your blood sample for dna, so that probably has been done too without our consent.

    • berrybestfarm | July 24, 2016 at 9:11 am | Reply

      Exactly. With millions of samples there will be many mistakes. It’s all safety and protection until we or one of ours is the “target”

  3. John.NoseTip | July 23, 2016 at 6:07 pm | Reply

    I think Michigan use to give life sentences to people caught with a certain amount of cocaine. I think they have rolled those back but apparently they still have bad ideas.

  4. And they wonder why they are dodging and taking bullets.

  5. TheCogitator | July 23, 2016 at 8:38 pm | Reply

    They can get a person’s DNA this way. This is likely the real motive for this. The government is supposed to protect the rights of the people. It is doubtful it ever has, but for sure, all actions now are just to protect the government and its powers. The rulers are more evil than ever.

  6. TheCogitator | July 23, 2016 at 8:51 pm | Reply

    Trying to ascertain impairment by measuring various substances that may be in the body is the wrong way to go about it. Some people will be more affected than others, and there is a big differences in driving skills. A more appropriate way would be t devise a test that demonstrates physical coordination that correlates to what is necessary to safely drive a car. This test should be given when licenses are issued, or renewed. When this test demonstrates that a driver could not safely operate a vehicle, then that driver would be impaired. Of course, Of course the best test would be actually driving on a track, but that is impractical. And of course this test falls short in not being able to test people who are injured or not conscious.

    • berrybestfarm | July 24, 2016 at 9:08 am | Reply

      There has to be a technological solution that is inexpensive. I like the idea of testing the skills. Not all impairments are self induced but these folks still need to not be on the road when impaired. Years ago when I was a bus driver for the city of Seattle an older woman backed up into the bus…on the freeway. She then drove on. She was obviously impaired and I am quite sure it was medical. Regardless, she needed to be escorted to a safe place until better.

  7. Richard Vernaz | July 23, 2016 at 10:12 pm | Reply

    So now smiling while driving is probable cause?

  8. Luke Hemmming | July 24, 2016 at 5:08 am | Reply

    Well in Australia we already have roadside drug testing using a swab. It is a special swab stick that detects drugs. It is mainly targeting amphetamines, THC from marijuana and ecstasy. All states do it and they now conduct not only random breath tests, but drug tests too are now common practice. This has now been going on for over 2 years and in the last year has become more widespread. Each state has a different length of time as from when marijuana is smoked to detection. Some are 4 hours and some 12 hours and some are 24 hours. There seems to be 2 stages to THC. The first is the active period of the Delta-9 THC then over the next few hours, some research suggests after 5 hours the body converts the THC to carboxy THC and therefore is less debilitating to the user. It is still not an exact science as a driver was found with THC detected 9 days after he smoked it! Each person is different and depends on the strength, type of marijuana, percentage of THC, the persons metabolism and whether or not there are other caveats involved. We have a joke here in Australia that none of the roadside drug swabs tests for cocaine usage because then that would catch out the politicians and lawyers that use coke.

    • Herman Christian | July 24, 2016 at 7:11 pm | Reply

      Well, since the Australians allowed themselves to be disarmed sometime
      back, I can expect that and similar other abuses to be long time common
      place?
      Give it a bit though? Boobus Americanus has a whole new generation of dumbed down Lemmings
      heading
      into the mainstream corral. When these ignoramuses can watch Hillary
      Clinton skate on national TV. and be complacent, why they can’t even
      grab their own butts with both hands?

  9. First if you are not a “driver”, then this doesn’t apply to you. Every time I am forced into these check point illegal searches, I ask do you believe I am involved in transportation? Did I cause an accident? and if not Buh – bye!!

  10. emmanuelozon | July 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm | Reply

    I wonder who will be the first to claim rape by an officer performing the cheek swab?

    Could it be interpreted as unwanted penetration? I wonder.

  11. The law. A trail program thats a law. Refusal should be an option if its a trial program.

  12. I don’t know why this is coming as a suprise to motorists in Michigan when in Australia we have lived with the threat of “random drug testing” everytime we drive anywhere for years now. Also, if you are involved in an accident the police will take your blood and the judge will throw the book at you if they detect THC even though you may not have smoked it for days and even if the accident wasn’t your fault! So even the occaisional light smoker has great cause for concern. Government media advertising (courtesy of our tax dollars) has caused a disturbingly high percentage of the population to think this is a good idea despite it being a huge violation of the public’s civil liberties. Marijuana has long been maligned by the PTB in this country as a “dangerous drug”, now along with the virtual forced vaccinating of under 18 year olds (or parents are penalized $10,000s/year) it is clear to many that the real danger is an out of control, fascist government.

    • Herman Christian | July 24, 2016 at 7:08 pm | Reply

      Well, since the Australians allowed themselves to be disarmed sometime back, I can expect that and similiar other abuses to be long time common place?
      Give it a bit though? Boobus Americanus has a whole new generation of dumbed down Lemmings
      heading into the mainstream corral. When these ignoramuses can watch Hillary Clinton skate on national TV. and be complacent, why they can’t even grab their own butts with both hands?

  13. Herman Christian | July 24, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Reply

    Refuse to aid and abet a crime being committed by refusing these swabs and other violations of your person. You are assisting these police and the ignorant suits behind them to violate their oath of office and many cases directly violating the law of the land that governs them. So, complacency in the commission of a crime even one against you is participating with them in the violations.

    • Blood test Breath test all that is self incrimination. They are finding you guilty with out a trial or jury or judge with out a lawyer to defend you. They get away with it because people are stupid and mostly afraid to refuse

  14. Sounds like Australia fell asleep at the wheel and the government beast wishes to keep them there.
    Forced vaccination is the probable cause, eh zyklzy.
    see : nagalase and cas9/crispr before you inject.

  15. 1836Davy_Crockett | July 25, 2016 at 7:02 pm | Reply

    The fifth amendment says one can NOT be compelled to give evidence against themselves.

  16. Do the cops swab for lead poisoning in the state???

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