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Drug Swabs to be Used by Police at Checkpoints


As part of an increased effort to prosecute DUI cases in Los Angeles, the police are to begin using drug swabs at checkpoints in an effort to detect drivers under the influence of drugs.

The oral swabs will enable the police to test drivers for the presence of marijuana, cocaine and other drugs, including some medications. The swab would be part of a police officer's pre-arrest assessment of a suspect's sobriety and would essentially be another voluntary field sobriety test. Prior to submitting to a swab, the suspect in theory should be advised by the police that the test is voluntary, but that if the suspect declines to cooperate, they may still be arrested for DUI if the officer felt that there was probable cause to believe that the suspect was driving under the influence of a drug.

The results of swab testing have yet to be used by the Los Angeles City Prosecutor's Office in court. If an arrest for DUI is made following a drug swab, the suspect is then required to submit to a blood or urine test and the results of that test are admitted into evidence at court.

If you have been charged with driving under the influence of a drug in Los Angels, you need the assistance of an experienced DUI attorney who has defended these cases successfully before and who works with a toxicologist to critically examine the evidence and re-test the blood or urine sample. Gold & Witham Attorneys at Law have many years of experience in defending DUI cases based on drugs in Los Angeles. You may reach them for a free case evaluation at (310) 473-2304.