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San Diego Debuts Mouth Swabs to Detect Drugged Drivers

With the legalization of marijuana in California, technology that detects and confirms the presence of marijuana and other drugs is growing in popularity with law enforcement. Just this month, the San Diego Police Foundation donated two Drager DrugTest 5000 machines, costing about $6,000 each, which made their debut on St. Patrick’s Day at the downtown DUI checkpoint.

The Drager Drug Test 5000 Machine

The device does not read the level of intoxication, but tests individuals for the presence of seven drugs in their system. In order to read the level of intoxication, individuals must take a blood test.

The device tests for the presence of the following:

  • Marijuana
  • Cocaine
  • Opiates
  • Methamphetamine
  • Amphetamine
  • Methadone
  • Benzodiazepines

An officer will hand a mouth swab to the driver and instruct him or her to run the swab around the inside of the mouth for about four minutes. Then, the swab and a testing solution are placed into the machine. In about 6-8 minutes, the machine will print out the results on a receipt. This new technology will primarily be used at DUI checkpoints in San Diego.

What You Need to Know

Like an alcohol screening device or other tests, drivers can’t be forced to undergo a Drager 5000 test. However, police officers will still be looking for other evidence that a driver is impaired, such as unsafe driving, bloodshot eyes, blank stares, and the odor of marijuana. Even if the Drager 5000 test returns negative, but the officer has reasonable suspicion of impairment, a blood test may be mandated.

Protect Your Rights with a San Diego DUI Lawyer

If you have been charged with DUI with drugs, you need to get the help of a skilled San Diego DUI attorney on your side. At Mark R. De Yoe, APLC, we can challenge the results of these tests and fight for your rights. We are backed by more than 30 years of experience!

Contact our firm today to learn more about your options in a free case evaluation.