Thanks to a law passed recently and signed into law by Governor Rick Snyder in June, Michigan State Police are soon going to be selecting five Michigan counties for roadside drug testing.

With a cotton swab drug test and a healthy dose of trained on-the-spot judgement, officers will determine whether or not a driver is under the influence of marijuana or cocaine as part of a 12-step evaluation.

“The test drug recognition experts do are everything from taking a blood pressure, looking at your respiration, looking at your pupil sizes to see whether they’re pin-pointed or dilated,” Special First Lieutenant David Kaiser, PIO for Michigan State Police told NBC25.

The counties that will be part of the program will be selected on the following criteria:

  • The number of traffic crashes in these counties
  • The number of people arrested for drinking or driving under the influence of drugs
  • The number of drug recognition experts located in each one of the pilot counties

Police officials say that Michigan is seeing decade-high numbers for crashes involving drugs.

“Some of the concerns were we were going to just start randomly testing people, and that’s not the case,” Michigan State Police First Lt. Michael Shaw told WWJ. “There’s still going to be probable cause for a traffic stop — just like it was….This is just an added component to the probable cause portion of it.”

An Escanaba couple was killed in 2013 by a man convicted of driving a tractor-trailer under the influence of drugs, and so the law is named in their honor – “The Barbara J. and Thomas J. Swift law.”

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