Michigan State Police launch new 'drug screening' initiative during traffic stops
“It goes into the machine. It takes about 5 minutes, and it’ll give us just a negative or positive for those 6 drugs,” said Michigan State Trooper Jim Janes with the Niles post.
Starting Wednesday, Michigan State Police are bringing their latest equipment to the streets to help stop drug-impaired drivers across the state.
“So this is the Alere DDS 2,” said Janes.
Janes says over the last few years, drug-impaired and fatal accident numbers have been climbing.
“Michigan has seen an uptick in people that are driving under the influence of drugs and an uptick in the amount of drivers that are using drugs involved in fatal crashes,” said Janes.
So they’ve trained 27 DREs, or Drug Recognition Experts, in 5 Michigan counties. 7 of those DREs are in Berrien County and are already working to tackle the problem on their roads and highways.
After a series of preliminary tests, MSP troopers are screening for drugs in your system in just minutes.
“We’ll swab the inside of the subjects mouth, it’ll go inside the cartridge, it takes about 5 minutes to read the different classes of drugs,” said Janes.
In that short amount of time, state troopers can check for amphetamine, benzodiazepines, marijuana, cocaine, meth and opiates.
“Drug impaired driving is a problem that’s going on all hours of the day. This is just another tool for them to use that’s going to show that that person has the drug in their system that they suspect them of having,” said Janes.
Those 5 counties, in including Berrien County, are currently pilot counties during this trial phase for law enforcement officials to see how the device pans out. In the first day, the device was already successfully administered to potentially impaired drivers on the road in Michigan.