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Michigan roadside drug testing program expanding

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NILES, Mich. – Michigan State Police are expanding roadside drug testing.

The state police department started the roadside drug testing pilot program in November 2017 in five Michigan counties and they now plan to expand it to 46 of Michigan’s 83 counties.

The soon to be expanded drug testing program is getting some support from locals.

“If someone gets pulled over and they’re showing signs of being on some substance then it could be safety for them and for people around them,” Berrien County resident Alishia Portala said.

The program relies on trained troopers around the state who are drug recognition experts.

“It is recommended that the oral fluid roadside analysis pilot program be expanded to include all drug recognition experts in 46 counties,” Michigan State Police Lt. Jim Flegel said.

If a driver is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs that person would be asked to complete a field sobriety test which could include a mouth swab.

Mouth swaps are inserted into a device that gives a positive or negative result for six categories of drugs in approximately five minutes, including THC which is the active ingredient in marijuana which was recently legalized in Michigan.

Critics are concerned about how the test is administered and its accuracy but according to state police the results of 92 samples “correlated very well” with independent testing.

The expanded program is expected to begin Fall 2019.

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