DUI and the Mouth Swab Test

DUI and the Mouth Swab TestLaw enforcement agencies are constantly adopting new technologies to help in the detection and prevention of DUI offenses. Since the passing of Proposition 64 in November 2016, law enforcement agencies are concerned that there will be a steep increase in the amount of drivers under the influence of marijuana. San Diego has recently acquired two mouth-swab devices designed to measure if a driver has been using marijuana or other drugs. These mouth swab tests may soon become standard throughout California as agencies crack down on those who drive under the influence of drugs.

Current Method of Drug Detection in DUI Drivers

When an officer suspects that a driver is under the influence of alcohol, the officer will ask the driver to provide a breath sample on his or her portable preliminary alcohol sensor (“PAS”) device during the DUI investigation phase or on the stationary Breathalyzer machine if the driver has already been arrested. Both devices are designed to measure the alcoholic content of alveolar air from the deep lung area and can calculate the driver’s blood alcohol content immediately.

If a driver is suspected of driving under the influence of drugs, the only option previously was to obtain a blood sample that would then be analyzed by a lab technician or trained criminologist. This process takes several weeks and the results of the blood test would not be immediately known to the police.

The Mouth Swab Test

In order to determine immediately whether or not a driver has been using drugs, law enforcement agencies are adopting mouth swab devices. The Dräger DrugTest 5000 is the size of a mini bookshelf stereo system and is designed to test for the presence of seven different drugs, including marijuana, cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine, amphetamine, methadone and benzodiazepines. This machine only performs a qualitative, and not a quantitative examination of the drug content in the test taker’s system. This means that the machine can test for the presence of a drug but cannot tell how much of the drug a driver has consumed.

In order to conduct the mouth swab test, a driver is provided a mouth swab and is told to rub the swab around the inside of his or her mouth for up to four minutes. The swab is then placed inside the device with a testing solution. The testing process takes six to eight minutes and will provide a printout indicating positive results. If there is a positive test, the driver would then be asked to provide a blood sample. A driver can lawfully refuse the mouth swab test, but cannot refuse the blood test. A driver who refuses blood testing can be charged with DUI along with a refusal allegation that would add mandatory jail time. The driver would also lose his or her driving privileges for a full year. When a driver refuses blood testing, the police can obtain a warrant for a forced blood draw.

What Type of THC is Detected

The mouth swab device only tests for the delta-9 THC component of marijuana. This component will stay in a person’s system for a few hours or longer, depending on how marijuana was ingested. The machine cannot detect inactive THC compounds that often remain in a person’s system for weeks.

If you have been charged with a DUI drug offense, it is crucial that you discuss your case with a knowledgeable DUI lawyer right away. Michael Kraut is a former Deputy District Attorney with over 14 years of prosecutorial experience who possesses an expansive knowledge of DUI law and works hard to ensure his clients receive the best representation possible.

For more information about DUI and the mouth swab test, and to schedule your free consultation, contact Mr. Kraut 24/7 at 888-334-6344 or 323-464-6453.

Share |
Featured on CNN
ABC News
NBC News
Los Angeles Times
CBS News
The New York Times
Us Weekly
Entertainment Tonight
Good Morning America
Legal Broadcast Network
Avvo Rating 10.0
Client Reviews
Michael Kraut is outstanding! He genuinely cared about my case and instructed my mom and I throughout the entire process. He was very clear on what he needed in order to receive the best results. He kept us updated until the end. I thank him so much for getting my charges rejected. I highly recommend him to anyone with legal needs! Shaquan
I contacted Michael with concern for my personal and business reputation. He was very reassuring and confident the entire time. After about 3 weeks it was determined that no charges were being filed by any agency and I was in the clear of any investigation. One thing that is amazing is just how FAST Michael is at replying to phone calls, texts, and even emails! We are talking under 30 minutes in most cases. That is unheard of for most attorneys! Michael is incredible and not your typical run of the mill attorney. For best results hire him if you feel like you might be under investigation or could face charges. Even if you know you are innocent it is best to take care of the smoke before it becomes a fire. Brad
Michael Kraut is-hands down-the best criminal defense attorney and I can't begin to thank him for all that he did for me and my family. I reached out to him in the middle of the night and less than a couple hours later, he had gotten back to me and scheduled a meeting. He's a no-nonsense attorney who knows how to get the job done! From the second we retained him, I had peace of mind in knowing that we were in the best hands possible. If Michael Kraut couldn't get it done, I knew that it couldn't be done at all. You can't put a price tag on your freedom. He was worth every single penny. Lida
Michael Kraut is an outstanding attorney. He was extremely professional, and straightforward, yet sensitive with my case. I am confident I made the right choice by hiring Michael. I highly recommend him to anyone seeking a truly experienced lawyer. Daniel
Michael Kraut - I cannot thank you enough for all that you did for ​my son. When I came to you I read that you used to be a district attorney but I never knew how much that meant until I watch you in court. I knew it took 3 months but the final day when I heard the judge say that all charges were dismissed it was all worth it! I will always be grateful for all that you did for us. A.N.