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Bruce Alan Block, PLC

Represents clients in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and West Michigan communities of Ada, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Cascade, Wyoming, Byron Center, Lowell, Caledonia, Cascade, Rockford, Holland, Grand Haven, Grandville, Kent County, Ottawa County, Muskegon County, Barry County, Ionia County, Newaygo, Montcalm, and Allegan County.
We represent students from Calvin College, Aquinas College, Grand Valley State, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids Community College, and Michigan State University.

Bruce Alan Block, PLC
Attorney and Counselor at Law
Phone: (616) 676-8770

1155 East Paris Ave. SE, Suite 300

Grand Rapids, MI 49546

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Michigan Roadside Saliva Drug Testing DRE Experts


Michigan Roadside Drug Testing and DRE Experts.


Drugged Driving Lawyer and Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Lawyer Explains.


One Year Saliva Drug Testing Program to Begin.


The State of Michigan is now implementing a one-year pilot program aimed at catching drivers who are driving impaired by drugs. The state selected five counties for the test program, Kent County, Berrien County, Delta County, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties. The pilot program will begin in these five counties on November 8, 2017 and run for one year. 


According to Michigan State Police statistics, the number of drugged drivers causing crashes has increased about 32% from the previous year. The State Police in association with local law enforcement will be asking motorists to submit to an oral swab of their mouth. These new saliva test swabs will test for the presence of of the following drugs:  benzodiazepines, marijuana, cocaine, opiates, and methamphetamine.This pilot program is designed to throw a broader net to catch those drivers who have drugs in their bodies. The saliva test, in conjunction with a "Drug Recognition Expert" or a DRE examination will give police officers more reason to demand that motorists submit to a blood test at a local hospital or jail. 


Michigan is a Zero Tolerance State. 


Operating a motor vehicle with the presence of any amount of drugs such as marijuana (active THC), cocaine, opiates, methamphetamine, and/or benzodiazepines (absent a medical marijuana card or a valid doctor prescription for said drugs) is an automatic ticket for drugged driving. A drugged driving conviction is treated the same as if you were drunk on alcohol, and has the exact same penalties. Unlike drunk driving, there is no minimum amount, nor is there a legal limit. If you have any detectable amount in your body — you are guilty of driving under the influence of drugs. The standard test for drugs is blood test which is then sent to a laboratory. If you have any type of illegal drugs such as cocaine, ecstasy, heroin, LSD, or marijuana (active THC) in your system you can be arrested and charged with 'driving under the influence of drugs (OWID) which has the exact same penalties as drunk driving (OWI) including: license suspension, 6 points on your license, a criminal record, the $2,000 "bad driver" tax, etcetera.


If You Have a Medical Marihuana Card. 


Visit our THC Medical Marijuana – Impaired Driving page for information on driving with medical marihuana in your body if you have a medical marihuana card.


Drug Recognition "Experts." DRE


The number of drunk driving offenses is actually going down. Police are now focusing on persons who are driving while impaired by drugs, whether legal or illegal. This is somewhat new territory. The police have traditionally focused on alcohol, the beverage of choice. However, drunk driving arrests and accidents are down, and drug impaired driving is up. The new focus of the police is on drug impaired drivers. The penalties for driving impaired by drugs (or any substance) is the same as alcohol.


Drug Recognition Experts. DRE. Police are being sent to classes so they can detect when a driver is under the influence of marihuana, heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, and a wide variety of other types of drugs, including prescription drugs. After a 72-hour continuing education course and part of a week spent practicing their skills on prison inmate volunteers in the Maricopa County Jail in Arizona, these police officers are then magically deemed to be "experts" by the International Association of Chiefs of Police. This is not a joke. Basically a two week program turns ordinary police officers into "experts" at recognizing people impaired by drugs. There are about 100 DRE officers in the state right now, and many more are expected.


The DRE "expert" will administer a 12-step evaluation. The results of the DRE evaluation together with your saliva results, will give the police the probable cause needed to demand that your blood be drawn sent to a laboratory for testing. The Drug Recognition Expert will take your blood pressure, heart rate, temperature, check your arms for needle marks and bruises, check your eyes for pupil size, and ask you a lot of questions. The DRE examinations typically take about 45 minutes to an hour and are usually performed at the police station. Just like the roadside saliva test, the DRE examination is VOLUNTARY. You can politely refuse to participate without legal consequences. 


Drugged driving is serious, just as serious as drunk driving is. Even a first drugged driving offense equals many thousands of dollars of court costs and fees, attorney fees, bad driver fees, sky rocketing insurance rates, and license suspensions. Three drunk or drugged driving offenses are a felony. FELONY. 


If you are charged with a case where there is a police officer who is a so-called "Drug Recognition Expert" you should seek legal counsel immediately, especially someone who has dealt with DRE cases before. 


Consequences of Refusing a Roadside Saliva Test. 

A motorist who refuses to give the police officer a saliva swab is guilty of a civil infraction, a non-criminal offense that has a fine of $200. Refusing a saliva swab is similar to refusing a roadside PBT alcohol test (also a civil infraction). Refusal of a roadside PBT or Saliva test should NOT be confused with the tests that are done at the police station or hospital. Refusal of the tests at the hospital or police station have serious license consequences. You should see our Drunk Driving page to read about the serious consequences of implied consent refusals.


How we can help.


We do not know how the new drugged driving cases resulting from this pilot program will evolve. We are here to help. We have been helping people in West Michigan and the greater Grand Rapids area since 1992. We have experience handling drunk and drugged driving cases. We have handled DRE cases. We will be closely following the results of this pilot program. If you or someone you know is charged with drugged driving, call us for help.  


Contact Us


Attorney Bruce Alan Block is a Grand Rapids, Michigan criminal defense lawyer who has successfully handled super drunk driving, drunk driving, drugged driving, impaired driving, driving while impaired, driving while visibly impaired, and more. Put his years of experience to work for you.


If you or a family member has been charged with or accused of a drunk or drugged driving crime you need immediate advice from an experienced criminal defense attorney. Contact our Grand Rapids, Michigan, drugged driving and criminal defense lawyer at (616) 676-8770.




Bruce Alan Block, PLC

Attorney and Counselor at Law
1155 East Paris Ave SE, Suite 300 Grand Rapids, MI 49546
Phone: (616) 676-8770


Serving Clients throughout Western Michigan, in Grand Rapids, Ada, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Cascade, Wyoming, Byron Center, Wyoming, Caledonia, Cascade, Rockford, Holland, Grand Haven, Grandville, Kent, Barry, Ottawa, Muskegon and Ionia County. We represent college students from Calvin College, Aquinas, Grand Valley State University, Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids Community College, Michigan State University, and Western Michigan University.


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