One town in Illinois is planning to use a mouth swab drug-testing kit to make roadside checks to determine if a motorist is driving under the influence of drugs.
Carol Stream’s police department will be entering the testing phase of the P.I.A.2 kits, which will quickly determine the presence and amount of marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines and methamphetamines, and opiates such as heroin.
Sgt. Brian Cluever of the Carol Stream Police Department's traffic and safety unit said the goal is to perform 50 to 100 sample tests on suspects who have already been arrested for a crime and willingly agree to participate. Test results will have no bearing on the suspect’s case and cannot be used in court.
Cluever said if the testing is proven effective, it can hopefully be used by Carol Stream and throughout the state.
“Once we have proven this in court and it’s been proven in the scientific community to be accurate and reliable, then there’s no reason why it should not go statewide,” Cluever said.
The tests will be sent to Judicial Testing Systems, which is working with the department on the project. Tests cost approximately $30 per kit and funding will come from existing DUI Tech funds.
“That is the good thing about having that DUI Tech fund,” Cluever said. “That is what it is designed for, to be able to push forward and make sure that you have the tools needed to enforce DUI laws.”
Cluever said he was not sure if the drug problem has increased in Carol Stream and Illinois, but it is a problem nonetheless.
“I will say that it is a problem,” Cluever said. “These drivers are just as, if not more, dangerous than alcohol-impaired drivers. So, we need to do something about it.”
Cluever also said the measure was about helping to keep roads safer from people under the influence of drugs.