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Police using oral screening for suspected drugged motorists

On Behalf of | Nov 23, 2021 | Drug Crimes |

Police have used tests to prosecute suspected drunk drivers for many years. Recently police in Indiana have begun using oral screening technology to investigate suspected drug impaired drivers.

New screening tool

A new screening test, SoToxa, makes it easier for police to detect drugs and investigate drivers for impaired driving and other drug crimes. That test uses oral fluids to detect drugs.

SoToxa test results matched blood tests submitted to a laboratory, according to the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute. These oral tests had a 51 percent positive rate for cannabis while blood tests had a 52 percent rate.

A police officer conducts this oral test by swabbing the inside of the motorist’s mouth. The swab is then inserted into a cartridge and test results are provided in about five minutes.

There are 160 SoToxa tests being used in Indiana. Over 800 tests were performed since the devised were distributed. The Institute recently placed of these screening devices in northwestern Indiana in Lake County.


SoToxa results may not be introduced in court. These tests are not designed to determine how impaired or high a driver may be.

Drivers may refuse to take this SoToxa test. But police may utilize the state’s implied consent law and ask motorist to take a certified test.

If drivers refuse, police may take them into custody, obtain a search warrant and have a blood test performed. Blood tests may be introduced at trial.

Traditional tests increased

Police believe that drivers are going to Illinois and using marijuana and then returning to Indiana. The Indiana Criminal Justice Institute reported that there were seven percent more customary blood test submissions for drugs to the state laboratories in 2020 even though traffic dropped during the shutdowns that year.

Drivers have numerous rights during these stops. But the criminal justice system can be confusing and intimidating. Kammen & Moudy can offer you the experienced support you need.

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