As the New Year is soon approaching, law enforcement officers throughout Los Angeles and the state of California are continuing increased efforts to arrest motorists suspected of driving under the influence (DUI). Although this time of year is notorious for high rates of alcohol-related accidents, it is also a time during which motorists commonly drive under the influence of drugs (DUID). In an effort to crack down on all forms of impaired driving this New Year's Eve, the Los Angeles Police Department recently announced that they will be ramping up the use of drug tests.
According to LAPD officials, a portable drug test device will be used to test motorists who are suspected to be under the influence of drugs. The test will be used by officers on saturation patrols and by officers at sobriety checkpoints during New Year's Eve. The test uses a swab testing tool that can test for marijuana impairment and the presence of other drugs. The swab collects oral fluids from the gum line and cheeks, and is then placed in a portable machine. This method provides immediate results, compared to the timely process associated with blood tests. LAPD has used this tool approximately 50 times before they announced its use on New Year's Eve this past Friday.
Officials have stated that the increased use of medical marijuana led to the decision to place more of an emphasis on testing drivers for drug impairment. According to statistics from the city's attorney's office, 598 DUI cases involving drugs were filed last year – compared to 577 drunk driving cases filed during the 2012 winter holiday alone.
LAPD's announcement shows that officials are increasing efforts to arrest motorists who drive under the influence of drugs. If you or your loved one has been charged with driving under the of marijuana or other controlled substances, an experienced Los Angeles DUI attorney from Lessem, Newstat & Tooson, LLP is prepared to provide the support and defense you need.
Learn more about your case by calling (800) 462-7160 for a free consultation.