Civil Liberties

L.A. DUI Checkpoints: Now With More Saliva in Your Questionable Fourth Amendment Practices


Bad news from the open-air prison we call America today out of L.A., where cops are going to start demanding saliva samples from citizens it stops at DUI checkpoints who it finds suspiciously suspicious. 

Details from SoCal public radio station KPCC website:

Starting this weekend, law enforcement in Los Angeles will begin expanded use of saliva swab test kits on drivers suspected of driving under the influence of drugs…..

Susan Melkisethian / / CC BY-NC-ND

The testing is already used at some LAPD DUI checkpoints and at three stations that have jails. A $520,000 grant awarded to the L.A. City Attorney's Office will expand the regular use of the test next year…

Do you gotta give them your spit? No. Legally, just your blood. God bless America!

State law requires drivers suspected of driving under the influence to submit to a blood test but they have the right to refuse the swab. The oral test is voluntary, said deputy city attorney Michelle DeCasas…

Feuer said the rise of medical marijuana dispensaries has led more drivers, including lawful card-carrying users, to get behind the wheel under the influence of the drug.

The oral swab tests can detect tetrahydrocannabinol or THC – the active impairing ingredient in marijuana – that is in a person's system up to three hours after ingestion.

As the LA Times reports, it isn't just pot these tests allege they can detect:

The test screens for cocaine, benzodiazepine (Xanax), methamphetamine, amphetamines, narcotic analgesics, methadone and THC representative of marijuana usage within the past few hours. City prosecutors have yet to use results from the test as evidence in a case.

That's because, as prosecutors always hope, citizens tend to plead out under the pressure.

Does any of these test results amount to actual, real, reckless driving? Who knows, and the law apparently doesn't care.

Scott Shackford blogged last month about a National Highway Traffic Administration study doing the same sort of highly invasive bodily fluid sampling merely in the name of "research."