April 21, 2015 | NBCLosAngeles.com
Legislators and advocates gathered Monday to showcase a new tool that will crack down on drugged driving across the state.
DDS2, also known as a roadside drug test, is like a breathalyzer, but it tests for narcotics instead of alcohol.
The technology, in use in states such as Colorado and New Hampshire, will allow officers to find out in about a minute whether a driver is under the influence of drugs.
It uses saliva to test for six different drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, and meth. The demonstration came on April 20 the unofficial stoner holiday of 4/20.
California Assemblyman Tom Lackey, R-Palmdale, has proposed a bill that would allow all state law enforcement agencies to use this technology.
He said being able to efficiently test for drug use in drivers will cut down on the number of innocent people arrested and will help save lives.
“It’s very, very disheartening when you go into the home of someone to share with them the absolute worst news possible, that their loved one has been stolen because of this decision making,” he said. “And so when you experience that it changes you, it changes your perspective.”
The DDS2 only tests for drug use within the past few hours.
Some critics say it might unfairly target people with legal prescriptions, such as those who take Adderall, which would show up on the test as an amphetamine.
Lackey doesn’t know how much the technology would cost taxpayers, or which department would be responsible for funding it.
“This particular technology would have capture and give an indication of recency of use, which we currently do not have,” Lackey said.