Minnesota Launching Pilot Program for Saliva-Based Drugged Driving Tests

Minnesota’s Office of Traffic Safety is pilot-testing a saliva-based roadside cannabis impairment test; the pilot program will be for data-gathering purposes only, meaning samples will be given voluntarily with no risk of arrest or driver’s license suspension.

Full story after the jump.

Minnesota’s Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) is pilot testing a saliva-based roadside cannabis impairment test, FOX 9 reports. The test will screen for six different compounds, including cannabis and opioids.  

Mike Hanson, director of OTS, told FOX 9 that officials are “not looking to find somebody who used 10 days or 14 days ago” but rather for people who “used within the last couple of hours.”   

The pilot program will be used for data-gathering purposes, so the samples will be voluntary and won’t be used to make arrests or suspend or revoke driver’s licenses, the report says. 

“We’re going to get a good sampling not only in metro areas, but also in the greater Minnesota areas that will give us an idea of how prevalent drug impaired driving is on our roads.” — Hanson to FOX 9 

The devices will be given to drug recognition evaluators, who are specialized law enforcement officers trained to recognize someone who’s under the influence of something other than alcohol. The state is using the SoToxa Oral Fluid Mobile Analyzer and the Drager DrugTest 5000 in the pilot program. 

According to Minnesota state data, from 2018-2022, there were 15,810 drugged driving incidents in the state, compared to 8,069 incidents from 2013-2017. 

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