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Illinois Municipality to Roll Out Oral Swab Roadside Test Pilot Program

Carol Stream, Illinois’ police department is moving forward with plans to use the controversial mouth swab roadside test to determine whether a driver is under the influence of drugs, Illinois Radio Network reports. The tests are part of a pilot program and cannot be used as evidence in court.

The P.I.A.2 kits test for cannabis, opiates, methamphetamines, and cocaine. The program will see the tests used on individuals already arrested who agree to participate. Officials hope to obtain 50 to 100 samples.

Carol Stream Police Sgt. Brian Cluever: “Once we have proven this in court and it’s been proven in the scientific community to be accurate and reliable, then there’s no reason why it should not go statewide.”

Cluever indicated that while he is unsure whether drugged driving is increasing in the state, drugged motorists “are just as, if not more, dangerous than alcohol-impaired drivers.”

The funding for the tests – about $30 per kit – comes from the department’s DUI Tech funds.

Last month, Michigan law enforcement officials in five counties announced they would begin using oral swabs to test drivers for impairment.

Why the controversy? The tests are designed to calculate whether a driver has consumed drugs; however, they do not accurately measure impairment. In Colorado, the legal limit for cannabis-impaired driving is set at “5 nanograms of active THC in … whole blood” but “no matter the level of THC, law enforcement officers base arrests on observed impairment.” In California, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a measure into law last September that allows a $70 fine for both drivers and passengers caught consuming cannabis in a vehicle.

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