Police in 5 counties will be swabbing drivers for drugs

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) - (11/02/17) - Starting next week, some police officers in five counties will be asking drivers to allow a swab of their mouth to determine if they've been using drugs.

Michigan State Police say it's part of an effort to cut down on "drugged driving." The one-year program starts Wednesday in Berrien, Delta, Kent, St. Clair and Washtenaw counties.

Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue says drivers "under the influence of drugs pose a risk to themselves and others on the road."

Police officers who are trained as drug recognition experts will collect oral fluid if they suspect a driver is impaired by drugs. A refusal is treated as a civil infraction.

State police say there were 236 drug-related traffic fatalities in 2016, a 32 percent increase.

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