Legislation Would Increase Penalties for Drugged Driving
Under the proposed legislation, drivers who refuse or fail a chemical test for driving under the influence of drugs could be subject to confiscation of their driver’s license. Drivers would be given a temporary permit issued pending conviction. Drivers would also receive a conditional bond and have their information added to a database to help law enforcement identify repeat offenders quickly.
“Whether or not this change in the law occurs, an arrest for driving under the influence of drugs is a serious matter,” said Michigan drunk driving attorney Shaun R. Marks. “Anyone charged with such an offense should seek legal representation.”
Rep. Dan Lauwers, Republican of Brockway Township and a sponsor of the bill, said that it would protect all drivers by getting repeat drugged-driving offenders off the roads. Lauwers said that drugged drivers are just as dangerous as drunk drivers, and that the penalties should be more equal.
A third bill, which did not make it out of committee, would have authorized police to carry out mouth swabs of drivers to test for the presence of illegal drugs and certain prescription medications. Medical marijuana groups and civil liberties advocates opposed the bill.
“The bill authorizing mouth swabs raised civil liberties issues,” said Marks. “There were also serious questions about the accuracy of the technology, and there was a danger that the lingering presence of a drug could be conflated with intoxication.”