Earlier this year we had reported the addition of a portable device that can detect marijuana and numerous other drugs. The Los Angeles Police Department will begin using a similar device at New Year's Checkpoints this year. The device works by having a swab taken of the inside of the mouth. The swab is then tested for cocaine, Xanax, methamphetamine, amphetamines, narcotic analgesics, methadone and THC. The test takes about eight minutes to complete and if drugs are found, the consequences are similar to driving under the influence of alcohol.
The key is to be careful. Always designate a sober driver or take advantage of things like AAA's Tipsy Tow. Most counties have geared up enforcement as part of the "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over Campaign." It simply is not worth it to drink and drive or drive under the influence of drugs. Our best advice is to arrange a sober driver ahead of time. Taxis are notoriously difficult to get on New Year's Eve that may lead to some people who otherwise would not have driven taking the chance. Do not be tempted. If you are pulled over remember that if you are over 21 year's old you are only required to complete a chemical breath or blood test after arrest. The first thing you must do after an arrest for driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs is call a qualified DUI Defense Attorney. We are here to help.