Governor Whitmer has signed a new law that will allow police to conduct roadside drug testing in all 83 counties in Michigan.

This is an extension of the pilot program put in place last year that allowed the roadside drug testing in five Michigan counties. The original program let the Michigan State Police choose which of the five counties they would target. Now the entire state is covered by the pilot program.

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There was a lot of push back on the program when it was announced last year, and that was with a very small number of counties participating. Now that the program has been extended to the entire state, I am guessing the voices that disagree will be much louder. The actual law is now knows as Bill 718, and it is very clear with its intent.

The department of state police may establish a pilot program in this state for roadside drug testing to determine whether an individual is operating a vehicle while under the influence of a controlled substance

You can read the entire Bill 718 here if you have many hours to kill, and an advanced grasp of legal jargon. The Bill was introduced by Senator Peter MacGregor from the west side of the state.

The actual test that will be administered is through an oral swab that would be tested on site. If there is reasonable suspicion, another test could be required to be run in a lab. The test can detect the presence of amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamines and opiates. If a driver refuses to take the test, it could result in a civil infraction.

The biggest point of contention in this is that there are no clear guidelines for marijuana usage behind the wheel. Obviously you shouldn't get baked and jump behind the wheel, but there isn't a minimum like there is with alcohol. Michigan is one of the many states where recreational weed is legal, but the laws around it are still very blurry. Some lawyers have even recommended declining the test and fighting the civil infraction.

I have no idea what the actual best practice is in that case. I'll just stick with the parentish advice of, if you are not sure, get a DD.


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