Society

Arkansas Police to Test People's Saliva, Officer Sells Testing Product

| by Michael Allen
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A new Arkansas state law allows law enforcement to test a person's saliva for drugs and alcohol.

The law was passed in March, but went into effect on July 17.

According to Channel 5 News, Lieutenant Allan Marx of the Sebastian County, Arkansas Sheriff’s Department supported the new law and is a distributor for the saliva test called "Oral Detect." 

Lt. Marx has even created a web site to sell Oral Detect, which goes for $298.75 (25 per case), to employers, schools, coaches, police departments, parole, probation and drug courts.

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His web site markets Oral Detect with slogans that appeal to people who want to know what chemicals their fellow citizens have inside their body, such as "Do you want to know if someone is using any type of drug?"

Lt. Marx told Arkansas News: “[A police officer] puts the saliva test kit in [a suspect’s] mouth for approximately four minutes or until the saturation indicator strip changes colors. Negative results can be read at two minutes and positive results can be read at 10 minutes. It’s a lot like a pregnancy test is the way Senator [Jake] Files explained it."

Lt. Marx made no mention of possible false positives/arrests or invading people's privacy with Oral Detect, which will not be used as evidence in court.

Instead, positive tests will provide a "probable cause" for arrest. Later, police will collect blood and urine in the jail, added Lt. Marx.

Eight states include saliva testing in their DWI laws including: Oklahoma, North Dakota, New York, Missouri, Michigan, Utah, Colorado and California.

Sources: Arkansas News and Channel 5 News