Yet Canadian lawmakers appear willing to trust drug testing devices that are nearly 30% inaccurate.
One of the unintended consequences of the 'technology age' has been the creeping dependencies on machines, tests, and arbitrary numbers, to determine important public safety standards.
With the new medicines being developed every year, we find an untenable policy being exposed in our courts and public safety agencies.
Now we have a very old medicine in Oklahoma that has returned to legal status; and that has cops squirming because they don't have proper technology to do their work for them.
Folks who remember the 1970s will recall that cops had low-tech solutions to demonstrate impairment. They simply had motorists stand on the side of the road and perform a few coordination exercises. While there are some criticisms of relying solely on that testimony, it does also provide a more exact science of illustrating what's 'impairment' for that particular motorist. When we add the visual court evidence of a bodycam or dashcam, the legal case becomes quite compelling.
Recent high-profile cases have left Oklahomans highly doubting the integrity of lab results conducted by law enforcement agencies. Outright fraud has led to multimillion dollar judgments to individuals who were maliciously framed by police lab personnel.
But cops won that argument because it allowed far more convenience to cops. Any dissenters were labeled 'soft on crime'.
Cops also got access to marijuana detectors and used the devices to establish 'probable cause' to legally search private property for contraband drugs. The problem we now see is that these cheap testing kits are similar to a home pregnancy test and only confirm that some sort of presence exists, but not how much.
Among the 600+ hours of training that every rookie cop has under his belt, there are hours spent on motorist impairment and how to enforce existing laws for public safety. Conducting field sobriety tests are a core training component. It does not cost thousands of dollars in added technology. the drawback is that it takes a couple minutes to do. It also requires a safe area to be conducted. Those are perhaps some of the reasons why cops and their agencies love the 'one-size-fits-all' option of a breathalyzer. That and the ability to quickly go catch the next person and commence the prosecution of even more motorists. We must always keep in mind that a large group of industries rely on the high prosecution rates. There are defense lawyers, bond agents, DUI driving schools, insurance companies, and the whole court networks who make their livelihoods from convictions which are cheap to compile and result in 8-figure enhancements to these govt. & private industries.