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Lawmaker proposes saliva testing for traffic stops

Posted at 12:03 AM, Jan 17, 2015
and last updated 2015-01-17 07:56:57-05

RICHMOND, Va. -- When driving along Virginia roads, you might wonder if the driver next to you is impaired behind the wheel.

"Just to have somebody under some type of substance, doing weed or cocaine behind the wheel, something that just adds to the frustration," said one Virginia driver.

According to Del. Glenn Davis (R-Virginia Beach), right now police can't do on-site testing of someone who may be driving under the influence of a controlled substance.

"This issue is just as big as driving under the influence of alcohol," said Davis.

To change that, the lawmaker has filed a bill to allow officers to use a saliva test to see if a driver is on some type of controlled substance.

"There have been a number of deaths, one of which in Gloucester, Va.," said Davis. "A lady and her unborn child were killed in a drugged driving accident and the gentleman that ran into them got a very small sentence."

Some drivers said such a test could benefit other drivers in the Commonwealth.

"I think they should be allowed to do a saliva test on you as long as they don't cross the line," said one driver.

However, Claire Gastanaga with the ACLU disagrees, emphatically.

"We don't have any of the evidence that constitutes the level of drug use or drug presence in a person's blood system that would indicate that they were impaired," said Gastanaga.