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Pittsburgh Criminal Lawyer > > Criminal Law > Saliva tests for DUIs draw ire, controversy

Saliva tests for DUIs draw ire, controversy

Saliva tests for drunk driving may not be something that Pittsburgh residents are familiar with; but in other states, and even countries, saliva tests are used as a base piece of evidence to justify more comprehensive and concrete testing of a person’s blood alcohol content. Many people are skeptical of the science behind a saliva test, but that has not stopped the state of Arkansas from adopting a saliva test law which officials believe will give police one more “tool in the toolbox” to catch drunk drivers. While this isn’t happening here in Pennsylvania, drunk driving laws are different from state to state. When one changes their laws or implements something new and effective, it is logical to assume that other states will take up the law too. Is that what is going to happen with this saliva law? It’s impossible to tell at this point, but the law is off to a bit of a rocky start. First, the law was originally thought up by someone who runs a saliva testing equipment business. Questions have been raised about a major conflict of interest concerning the law. Second, the saliva tests themselves seem sketchy. According to some in our source article, it seems as though the saliva tests really only establish probable cause for further testing (such as blood or urine samples). This is a problem because the saliva tests are supposed to be destroyed after 15 minutes. In other words, the evidence police use to substantiate probable cause is destroyed shortly after it gives the police the very answer they want. Third and finally, the saliva test could be in violation of a person’s search and seizure rights. Source: WREG, “Arkansas Law Now Allows Saliva Tests At DUI Stops,” Natasha Chen, July 25, 2013

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