Roadside test could help determine 'buzzed driving' - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Roadside test could help determine 'buzzed driving'

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Alere Toxicology said it has developed a saliva test that can show drugged driving. (WFSB photo) Alere Toxicology said it has developed a saliva test that can show drugged driving. (WFSB photo)
(WFSB) -

Connecticut lawmakers are still unsure whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana.

Analysts said it could generate millions of dollars in revenue.

Connecticut already lets some people light up for certain medical conditions.

A number of people want it for recreational use.

Seven states, including neighboring Massachusetts, allow recreational pot.

However, there are a lot of concerns such as "buzzed driving."

There is a roadside test that could help determine that and it's been adopted by a number of states.

"People don't start using drugs just because it becomes legal," said Fred Delfino, Alere Toxicology.

Delfino said Alere Toxicology has developed a roadside saliva test.

A handful of states are using them, even states that haven't legalized marijuana.

"It's not just marijuana," Delfino said. "Opiates have become an epidemic. Folks [have been] slouched over at a stop sign or stoplight with a needle in their arm."

The drug detection device tests six drugs in 5 minutes.

The user simply has to swab their mouth with a special indicator. Within 60 seconds, the wand will turn blue to signal that enough fluid has been collected for testing.

Saliva isn't as invasive as a blood test, plus the most recent sample can be collected.

There has been some debate over the tests because of THC. THC, which is in marijuana, dissipates after a few hours.

Some argue that it's hard to tell when someone may have done a certain drug.

Delfino said levels are set to show most recent use.

"At the levels we are testing for in an oral fluid, marijuana, it's only going to stay present several hours after use," he said.

The state of Colorado has already purchased five of the devices.

"The list price on a DDS is about $4,000," Delfino said.

Delfino said they also have to factor in training.

Police officers will need to correctly use the devices.

As Connecticut considers legalizing recreational marijuana, it comes with serious concerns over the message it sends to youth and an increase in drugged driving.

However, some people argue that people are driving high right now and testing for it could make the roads safer.

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