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Should the accuracy of an OWI test matter? Sound off in comments.


Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash

Michigan has a new method for detecting intoxicated drivers. The Oral Fluid Roadside Analysis Pilot Program, a name which for some reason makes me think of dentists who specialize in aviation, started on October 1st.

State police first started conducting the tests as part of a one-year pilot program in five counties: Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw. The initial pilot program, which concluded in November 2018, that was spurred by Michigan legislation passed into law in 2016.
That program put Alere DDS2 saliva test devices into the hands of 31 drug recognition experts from 12 different police agencies across those counties. The device was renamed SoToxa in April 2019, according to the manufacturer, Abbott.

Alere DDS2 is controversial, as MLive noted when they first wrote about the program in 2017.

Because drugs affect each person differently, there's often no firm agreement on how much of these substances equate to an impaired driver. So settling on this kind of a test can be complicated, academic experts and authorities have said, according to the AP.

The test has not performed well under scrutiny. In lab conditions 24% of the results were deemed "invalid," Journal of Analytical Toxicology, Volume 37, Issue 5, June 2013, Pages 305–307.


What do you think? Should people found to be intoxicated using this test? Should the state scrap the pilot program? Should there be new standards of probable cause before the police do a test? Let us know in the comments.


If you have been charged with OWI using this new test, call our office right now.

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