California Lawmakers Stall Roadside Test for Drugged Drivers

An Assembly committee has rejected making California one of more than a dozen states that allow police to conduct roadside testing for marijuana and other drugs.

The bill, AB 1356, by Republican Assemblyman Tom Lackey of Palmdale, would have allowed police to use a device similar to Breathalyzers used to chart blood alcohol levels. However, these devises detect drugs in the driver’s system.

The bill did not garner enough votes to advance from the Assembly Public Safety Committee. Republicans supported it, but four Democrats abstained which is equivalent to a no vote without the political fall-out for supporting drug use.

The bill had support from many law enforcement organizations but was opposed by defense and trial attorneys and the New York based, Drug Policy Alliance (DPA) a 501(c) 3, pro-marijuana use organization. The measure comes as the DPA and other groups are proposing 2016 state ballot measures to legalize marijuana.
Asm. Lackey plans to bring the bill back next year.