OTS: Roadside Testing Pilot Project for Data on Drugged Driving

OTS: Roadside Testing Pilot Project for Data on Drugged Driving

ImageRamsey County Sheriff’s Deputy Jeremy Broden examines the tube used to collect oral fluid for roadside testing. DPS Photo.

Most Minnesotans are familiar with the preliminary breath test and how Minnesota State Patrol troopers and traffic enforcement partners use the roadside test to help keep roads safe from alcohol-impaired drivers, but what's the approach for detecting drugged driving?  

Earlier this month, the Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) and the Minnesota State Patrol launched a pilot project aimed at answering that question. On January 5, drug recognition evaluators (DREs) from law enforcement agencies statewide were trained to use an oral fluid roadside testing instrument. The Minnesota Office of Traffic Safety is asking drivers to help the Department of Public Safety (DPS) with the testing evaluation by voluntarily agreeing to take the test when the DREs ask.   

  • Devices: DPS is also training DREs on two devices to compare how the two work. The devices, the SoToxa Oral Fluid Mobile Analyzer and the Dräger DrugTest 5000, detects the presence of cannabis or other drugs in a driver. 
  • Purpose: The goal of the study is to provide state lawmakers with trustworthy information so they can make sound decisions about what policy they want to bring forward in the law.  
  • Voluntary testing: The test will not be mandatory. Results of tests taken as part of the 2024 pilot project will not be admissible in any DWI court proceedings or used for any other type of impaired driving penalties. 

Learn more here. 

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