Driving under the influence is a big concern for law enforcement in Missouri.

St. Louis-based Intoximeters is a company that specializes in alcohol breath testing equipment. In 2019, they began distributing oral fluid tests for drugs.

Tim Brewer is a regional manager for the company. He says that the SoToxa Mobile Test System helps crack down on drivers under the influence.

“We can test for amphetamines, benzodiazepines, cannabis, cocaine, methamphetamines, and opiates,” Brewer says. “Those are the target drug classes that we’re looking for. The instrument gives you a positive or negative result. There’s no quantitative result with this. It just says you’re either positive or negative for any or all the drugs.”

Brewer says that the Kansas City and St. Louis County Police Departments along with the National Park Service in Van Buren were among the first in the state to use the tests.

“The whole point of this is you should not drive impaired,” says Brewer. “That means you shouldn’t drive impaired under the influence of alcohol. You shouldn’t drive impaired if you’re under the influence of prescription drugs. You shouldn’t drive impaired if you’re under the influence of marijuana even though it’s legal. No one’s trying to attack it as being legal. It’s just don’t get behind the wheel of a car if you’re impaired.”

The oral fluid test is a handheld analyzer that law enforcement uses for drug testing at traffic stops. They are manufactured by Abbott and distributed by Intoximeters.

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