SDPD unveils new tool to test for driving under the influence of drugs

San Diego, CA – The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) is adding one more tool to combat Driving Under the Influence of Drugs (DUID).  The SDPD Traffic Division wants to remind all drivers that we will be aggressively enforcing the state’s DUID law.  The addition of new equipment will aid in the SDPD’S DUID enforcement goals.

At future DUI checkpoints and during DUI saturation patrols, officers will have access to a roadside drug testing machine; the Drager 5000.  The Drager 5000 is an oral fluid screening device that tests saliva for the presence of drugs.  Once an individual who is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs has been evaluated by an officer, they will be asked to submit to the voluntary oral fluid screening; much like a Preliminary Alcohol Screening (PAS) device is currently offered to those suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol after they are evaluated.

Chief Zimmerman along with several of the Department’s Drug Recognition Experts will be on hand to speak about the machine and to answer questions.  Also available for comment will be representatives from the City and District Attorney Offices, as well as representatives from the device manufacturer.

The San Diego Police Department will continue to use DUI Checkpoints, DUI Saturation Patrols, and daily enforcement by its officers to educate motorists on the hazards of driving impaired, and to take enforcement action against those motorists that drive while under the influence and who are impaired.

In addition to this enforcement, the San Diego Police Department will continue working with the San Diego City Attorney’s Office and their DUID Vertical Prosecution Unit.  In the past year, this office prosecuted 282 drug and drug/alcohol-impaired cases (up from 150 cases the previous year), the majority of them purely drug DUI cases, with a 98 percent conviction rate.  The office as a whole prosecuted over 2,700 DUI cases during this period.

Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

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