A bill that would allow police to use saliva testing to detect drugs in drivers was approved 10-0-1 Feb. 9 by the House Transportation Committee.
Before it’s sent to the House, H.2378 may first be sent to the House Judiciary Committee for review.
The bill was introduced after the Legislature voted last month to legalize possession of up to 1 ounce of pot and the cultivation of two mature and four immature marijuana plants. That law takes effect July 1.
Before voting whether to approve saliva testing, the transportation committee received one last overview of the measure.
“We’ve been through it multiple times, taking a great deal of testimony,” Rep. Pat Brennan, R-Colchester, chair of the House Transportation Committee, said after the vote. “I think the key obstacles that anybody would object to are gone.”
Supporters of the legislation said the tests are needed to keep drug-impaired drivers off the road. Opponents of saliva testing say it is overly invasive as well as inaccurate — the testing would indicate the presence of drugs, but not impairment.