Imagine being at work, having a stressful day, and you take a pill such as Xanax to relax you or take the edge off. You then meet some friends after work and have only one drink. While driving home, you are pulled over under the suspicion of drunk driving. Or imagine taking your prescribed Xanax and then going out for a drive and cross the middle line. Now an officer can not only test you for drunk driving, but he can also give you a saliva tests to see if you are impaired due to prescription drugs.
Governor Kay Ivey just signed into law a saliva test that will take effect in August, 2021. Twenty-two states have authorized oral fluid tests to determine the amount of drugs in a person’s system. The new law gives saliva test the same “implied consent” and standard breath and blood tests. In the event you refuse a saliva test, you will automatically lose your license for 90 days in Alabama.
Implied consent means that when you drive a car on the road, if an officer determines through observations, field sobriety tests or some combination of the two, that a driver is impaired, he can make an arrest for DUI. If you refuse the saliva test your license is automatically suspended for 90 days for a first time offender.
The Alabama Department of Forensic Science has a more extensive post-arrest oral fluid tests now. The tests are used to determine the presence and level of drugs in your saliva. The test is referred to as the Quantisal Collection Device. The tests are sealed and sent to the lab for analysis and the results can be quantified. Also, the new law allows for paramedics to draw blood at the scene of an accident as opposed to someone going to the hospital first. This change in the law allows a more accurate reading of a person’s blood results.
According to the Alabama Department of Forensic Science, as you can imagine, marijuana was the majority of cases found in drivers’ blood than any other in 2019. It is not uncommon for a person to have multiple substances in their test results.
The big picture from the new law is simple. If you have taken medication and are impaired, do not drive. If you have taken a prescription pill and been drinking, call an Uber driver. The outcome can save you from a DUI, a possible wreck that hurts you or someone else.
If you are in need of a drunk driving lawyer or a DUI lawyer, contact Ingram Law LLC at 205-335-2640