Roadside drug testing is a disaster: Here’s what to know

On Behalf of | Sep 29, 2022 | Drug Charges |

These days, everybody in law enforcement is on high alert for drugs that may be passing through the nation’s highways and byways on their way to various illicit markets.

There’s no denying that drug trafficking is a problem in the United States, but an even bigger problem may be attributed to mistaken assumptions by the authorities and faulty roadside drug testing kits. People are ending up in jail for nothing.

How bad can it be?

Frankly, the roadside drug testing kits are so bad they have identified some of the most innocuous substances around as illicit drugs, and people have ended up being held for months behind bars on impossible-to-reach bails due to suspected drug trafficking.

What things have been misidentified as drugs by these kits? Consider these common items:

  • Glazed sugar flakes from a doughnut were misidentified as crack cocaine
  • Cotton candy purchased at a fair was misidentified as methamphetamine
  • Incense, cleaning supplies and headache medications were all misidentified

According to an investigative report, at least 145 had been wrongfully arrested due to faulty drug tests by 2019, and at least two people actually gave up and pled guilty to the charges against them rather than endure more time in jail while they waited on extensive lab tests to exonerate them.

The worst part is that both police and prosecutors know that these roadside testing kits are prone to errors – but try pleading your case with an officer at the side of the road and see how far it gets you. Once that cheap roadside kit mislabels something, you can expect to be arrested and charged with anything from simple possession to possession with intent to sell.

If this happens to you, don’t give up – and don’t fall for the prosecution’s tactics. Find out more about your legal rights and what it takes to build a solid defense.


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