(KXNET) — Drug recognition experts across North Dakota are participating in a pilot program to test a mobile screening device that can detect if a driver is under the influence of drugs.
While many law enforcement officers are specially trained in physically recognizing if a driver is under the influence of marijuana and various narcotics, there is no approved field device for actually detecting drugs in a suspected impaired driver’s system.
The results of the pilot program could provide the data needed to start using such a device by 2025.
“As illegal THC alternatives make their way into North Dakota, officers need additional tools at their disposal to determine if a driver is impaired,” said Drug Recognition Expert State Coordinator Trooper Tarek Chase. “Vapes containing THC are low in odor, easy to transport and conceal, and are four to five times as potent as a plant, so it is critical for law enforcement to have roadside tools at their disposal.”
The portable device can detect the presence of THC from marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, methamphetamines, opiates and benzodiazepines in people tested with the unit.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 56 percent of drivers involved in serious injury and fatal crashes in 2020 tested positive for at least one drug.