OZARK, Ala. (WDHN) — A new law is set to go into effect next week that will require DUI suspects to submit a saliva test that is meant to detect drug-impaired driving.
This law will allow law enforcement to administer this test on the spot, in order to determine what exactly the suspect was under the influence of.
Dale County’s Chief Deputy Mason Bynum says this law will make their job easier when they are dealing with DUI cases.
“In the past, on the side of the road if a deputy comes in contact with a motorist who may be under the influence of a narcotic or something there’s been no test, roadside, to determine that,” Bynum said. “Now there is.”
Chief Deputy Bynum says it’s extremely dangerous to drive under the influence and these tests can result in making the roads safer in the wiregrass.
“I think any impairment is dangerous,” Bynum said. “When you get behind the wheel of a vehicle and you are under the influence, whether it be drugs or alcohol, you’re putting a lot of people’s lives in danger including your own. And the more weapons we have to combat that I think will make the roads safer.”
Bynum also says street drugs aren’t the only narcotics they have to worry about but also the abuse of prescription medication.
“It’s not just your street drugs your marijuana, meth, it’s prescription medication that has been a big problem,” Bynum said. “Not only in our area but across the country and people are abusing those and operating motor vehicles while they’re being under the influence of prescription pills. So that’s another thing we have to combat.”
If DUI drivers refuse to take the saliva test they will lose driving privileges for three months. This law will go into effect on August 1.