Created: February 06, 2020 06:16 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M.- If recreational marijuana becomes law, police officers would have a new tool to test whether drivers are high.
On Thursday, Philip Simmons, of Intoximeters Inc., showed state lawmakers and law enforcement officers how the mobile drug test works.
“What we’re going to do is a collection of oral fluid, or saliva, you’re just going to swipe it around the cheeks, gum line and under the tongue for typically between 30-60 seconds,” he said.
The device can test someone’s saliva for 5 different drugs. Simmons said results are available in five minutes.
Pat Davis, an Albuquerque city councilor who chairs the governor’s legalization working group to study the issue of legalizing recreational marijuana, said Senate bill 115 requires the Department of Public Safety to create a year-long pilot project, using a device like the one that was demonstrated Thursday.
“There is a provision in the legalization bill that says we’re using new marijuana taxes to buy these tools for local law enforcement to use on the side of the road,” he said.
Captain Andrew Rodriguez, with the Rio Rancho Police Department, said the device could come in handy in some situations, but he feels the focus should be on training officers to detect signs of impairment.
“Right now, we rely on our training. In fact, that would be the primary way we would like to see New Mexico to go,” he said.
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