Industry News

Drug Field Tests Called Out as Unreliable and Unjust

By March 19, 2018 No Comments

Police departments across the U.S. continue to use flawed field kits to test for drugs, reports the Washington Post. The departments say that field tests are “primarily used as a preliminary test, after which the substance in question is sent to a crime lab for more definitive tests.” But as the Post points out, “even in jurisdictions where only lab tests — not field tests — are allowed in court, people will still get arrested, jailed for months and possibly tricked into accepting plea bargains because of false positives.” The Post has been keeping track of items that have falsely tested positive for drugs in the field, and their list includes chocolate chip cookies, motor oil, deodorant, and breath mints, among many other household items. Two incentives the Post suggests for the continued use of field tests are asset forfeiture and federal anti-drug grants.