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Police at Lodi Checkpoint will Look for Drugged Drivers

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LODI -- Lodi Police are setting up a DUI and driver's license checkpoint Friday at a surprise location.

Officers will be looking not just for signs of alcohol use but drugged driving as well.

Lodi Police Drug Recognition Officer Mike Hitchcock told FOX40 he catches someone driving drugged about once every two weeks. He says most common drug impairment he comes across is caused by marijuana, and the biggest giveaway is the smell.

Like CHP, Lodi police are not yet using any drug detection devices to test people who are driving drugged. Instead, they use a field sobriety test like those used to test for alcohol. But since there are seven different classifications of drugs that have different effects on the body, the test can be somewhat subjective.

Additionally complicating the matter is the fact that California does not have a set drug use limit at which a person is considered impaired. For example, if a person’s blood alcohol level is .08 or above, that person is legally considered an impaired drunk driver.

However, no such standard exists when it comes to drugged driving. Therefore, officers must assess not only if a person has been using drugs, but if those drugs are impairing the person’s driving.