Drug Testing Saliva
Arkansas law enforcement will now test a person’s saliva to determine if they are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The law was passed in March and went into effect July 17. Before the Arkansas DWI law changed, officers could test a person’s blood, urine and breath. A driver who fails a field sobriety test may be subjected to a saliva test. The test – which is 94-99% accurate – will detect intoxicants like alcohol, amphetamine, benzodiazepines, buprenorphine, cocaine, cotinine, EDDP, ketamine, marijuana, methadone, methamphetamine, opiates, oxycodone, phencyclidine and propoxyphene.
The results of the saliva tests are available within ten minutes and will determine whether an arrest should be made. A positive saliva test will serve as probable cause for an arrest, and blood or urine will be collected at the jail.
Due to the infancy of the new law, the admissibility of the tests have not yet been tried in court. However, the tests have been used for years in the hiring process. The new law was supported by the Arkansas Prosecuting Attorneys Association, Sheriffs’ Association and Association of Chiefs of Police before passing through the state House and Senate with little resistance. Chief Percy Wilburn, President of the Association of Chiefs of Police, said the saliva test will be a beneficial tool for law enforcement officers.
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