Sacramento, CA — California lawmakers are debating whether to allow enforcement officers to administer oral fluid drug tests when there is probable cause that a driver is impaired.
It would give officers the option of administering a saliva sample, which proponents argue can be more effective at detecting drugs than a traditional urine sample. The author of the bill is Republican Senator Bob Huff, who says, “I can think of no other public safety matter as urgent as this one. Thanks to dedicated efforts, rates of drunk driving and alcohol related crashes have gone down in recent years, yet drug involved crashes, and fatalities are dramatically increasing.”
He adds, “A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study in 2014 found that in California alone, drivers killed in crashes that tested positive for drugs, increased 11% in one year. Sadly, we have become a nation of self-medicating, careless people.
Huff cites that drivers killed in crashes that tested positive for drugs increased from 27.8% in 2009 to 39.6% in 2013.