“You can refuse this swab, you can refuse a breathalyzer, you can refuse to participate in a field sobriety test, you can refuse to answer questions,” says criminal defense attorney Mark Gallagher. “Now, law enforcement doesn’t like this advice, but we do still have a constitution.”
ReasonTV’s Tracy Oppenheimer sat down with Gallagher to discuss the latest addition to LAPD’s arsenal: saliva swabs that allegedly detect drug use. Gallagher advises to always decline sobriety tests, especially because these saliva swabs have yet to prove their efficacy in determining if drivers are indeed impaired from marijuana or other illegal substances.
“It doesn’t tell us when they took it [marijuana], or how much they took, and how is it affecting their ability to drive the vehicle. And that’s really what we need to know, to know whether or not that person is a safety risk on the road,” says Gallagher.
Gallagher also provides insight into the constitutionality of the saliva swab tests, when law enforcement needs a warrant, and when compliance is necessary in order to avoid penalties at the DMV.
Produced by Tracy Oppenheimer, shot by Paul Detrick and Alex Manning.