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Impaired Driving Focus Of Tuesday Ceremony

Marijuana leaves
Recreational use of marijuana has become legal in Michigan. The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility supports Michigan's oral fluids pilot testing program.

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month will be marked with a ceremony at the state capital on Tuesday. WKAR's Scott Pohl reports.

The Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility will recognize Michigan for rolling out roadside drug-testing tools two years ahead of the legalization of marijuana.

Vice President Erin Holmes says Michigan was the first state with an oral fluids pilot testing program. She says “that’s a saliva swab that can be administered by law enforcement to very quickly identify whether an individual tests positive for the most common types of drugs we expect to see in DUI cases.”

That pilot program has now gone state-wide. Holmes hopes Michigan will make it permanent and make the devices standard in DUI investigations.

Holmes adds that a saliva test can help determine if a motorist is impaired by drugs. “At that point in time, once probable cause is established, that individual would be arrested," Holmes explains, "and then law enforcement would likely perform a blood draw which would be submitted to the lab for evidential testing.”

The ceremony will honor Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist, among others. It’s in the capital rotunda at 2 p.m. Tuesday.

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