Ohio Drivers May Soon Face The Reality of Drug Testing During Traffic Stops

Ohio Drivers May Soon Face The Reality of Drug Testing During Traffic Stops

Cleveland, Ohio, –

The Ohio State Highway Patrol cracked down on drunk drivers in 2022 and 2023, arresting over 3,300 people for drug-impaired driving.

Ohio politicians are worried about the future of the state’s legalized recreational marijuana market.

“You never know what someone is under the influence of when a police officer pulls them over for suspicion of being under the influence,” said Democratic State Representative Sean Brennan.

Ten beaches in Lake Erie tested positive for E. coli: House Bill 230, which would authorize local, state, and county police to administer novel, rapid-result drug testing on the spot, has ODH Brennan as one of its co-sponsors. Brennan’s district includes Parma.

You shouldn’t be driving while under the influence of anything, so “if it’s cannabis, that’s one thing and we’ve got to work on that,” Brennan stated.

Ohio Drivers May Soon Face The Reality of Drug Testing During Traffic Stops

Image – Daily Mail

Despite the bill’s bipartisan backing, a congressman from Northeast Ohio is speaking out against it, arguing that the state should instead address the underlying issues that lead to drug misuse.

“You cannot arrest your way out of the war on drugs,” said Juanita Brent, a state representative from Cleveland. Since the beginning of Senate Bill 1 in 2018, Ohio has prioritized criminalizing drug possession over addressing the underlying causes of drug abuse.


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This is just one of several efforts by the state to combat the drug problem. Education, job training, culturally competent community-based messaging, access to mental and physical healthcare for the unemployed, and low-barrier treatment are all necessities in Ohio. We are utterly bewildered if we continue to do the same things and expect different outcomes if these are not priorities.

The state has spent millions of dollars to get to the bottom of the problem, and we can walk while chewing gum, Rep. Brennan responded.

The Ohio Association of Chiefs of Police, the Ohio Patrol, and the Buckeye State Sheriffs’ Association are all cooperating on this,” stated Harold Pretel, the sheriff of Cuyahoga County.

The availability of saliva testing technologies, according to Pretel, would be revolutionary.

Whatever the case may be, if the test only takes 10 minutes, we can move quickly. We could certainly do field sobriety tests or other assessments; however, that would be a good first step in deciding whether to proceed with immediate action or to swiftly release the person and vacate the area.

Once passed into law, the exact method of financing drug testing at traffic stops remains unclear.

The House of Representatives has already passed House Bill 230 by a vote of 80 to 13, and the Senate will now vote on the matter.

Additionally, the bill would establish August as Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Month and enhance punishments for organized drug trafficking.

If the bill makes it to Governor Mike DeWine’s desk, he is reportedly going to sign it into law.

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